Monitoring the Behavioral and Adrenal Activity of Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) to Assess Welfare During Seasonal Housing Changes

In inclement weather, northern zoos are required to provide animals from warmer climates with indoor exhibits. These indoor exhibits are typically smaller, lack natural substrate, and have lower levels of stimulation for the animals. The purpose of this study was to examine the welfare of four reticulated giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata) exhibited at the Chicago […]

Zoo Research Guidelines: Studies of the effects of human visitors on zoo animal behaviour


Methodologies for the Care, Maintenance, and Breeding of Tropical Poison Frogs

The Biodiversity Laboratories at Saint Joseph’s University house more than 100 exotic and endangered animal species-including insects, fish, amphibians, and reptiles. Research in the laboratories is devoted, primarily, to understanding the genetic and ecological bases of animal behavior. In addition, a common theme of the work is the development of techniques for the successful care […]

Frogs Call at a Higher Pitch in Traffic Noise

Male frogs call to attract females for mating and to defend territories from rival males. Female frogs of some species prefer lower-pitched calls, which indicate larger, more experienced males. Acoustic interference occurs when background noise reduces the active distance or the distance over which an acoustic signal can be detected. Birds are known to call […]

Self-recognition in the Asian elephant and future directions for cognitive research with elephants in zoological settings

The field of animal cognition has grown steadily for nearly four decades, but the primary focus has centered on easily kept lab animals of varying cognitive capacity, including rodents, birds and primates. Elephants (animals not easily kept in a laboratory) are generally thought of as highly social, cooperative, intelligent animals, yet few studies—with the exception […]

The Effects of Visitor Density and Intensity on the Behavior of Two Captive Jaguars (Panthera onca)

Several researchers have reported significant effects of visitor density and intensity on captive animal behavior. This study determined whether this was the case for 2 captive jaguars housed at the Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle, WA. Subjects were monitored for changes in behavior as a function of visitor density and intensity. The jaguars were observed for […]

Spraying Effects on Goat Welfare in Hot and Humid Climate

Heat stress is one of the major factors adversely affecting animal welfare and thus economic benefits of farms. This study was designed to determine the effects of three different spraying methods on goats for reducing heat stress. Thirty goats divided into three groups for the trial (One time sprayed a day: OTS, Two times sprayed […]

Using The Observer for Animal Behavior Research: Stress and emotions in animals

Animals respond to inputs from their inner and outer environment with physiological and behavioral changes. They try to maintain a stable state by reacting to disturbances of the inner and outer world: their Umwelt. Under natural conditions an animal predicts and controls its Umwelt by feeding, moving, resting, socializing, communicating, etc. It has the freedom […]

Guidelines for the instrumentation of wild birds and mammals

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Behaviour as a tool in the assessment of animal welfare

A central issue in animal welfare research is how to assess the welfare state of animals objectively and scientifically. I argue that this issue can be approached by asking two key questions: 1) is the animal physically healthy and 2) does the animal have what it wants? Behaviour is used to answer both of these […]