Welfare of feral cats and potential influencing factors

The aim of the study was to investigate the habitat, characteristics, and the health status of cat colonies under supervision of a trap-neuter-return program, the distance of the cats maintained with respect to their caregivers as a measure of the animals’ fear of or confidence in humans, and relationships between these factors with regard to […]

Chicken welfare is influenced more by housing conditions than by stocking density

Intensive broiler (meat) chicken production now exceeds 800 million birds each year in the United Kingdom and 2 1010 birds worldwide1, but it attracts accusations of poor welfare2, 3. The European Union is currently adopting standards for broilers aimed at a chief welfare concern—namely, overcrowding—by limiting maximum ‘stocking density’ (bird weight per unit area). It […]

Animal models of behavioral dysfunctions: Basic concepts and classifications, and an evaluation strategy

In behavioral neurosciences, such as neurobiology and biopsychology, animal models make it possible to investigate brain–behavior relations, with the aim of gaining insight into normal and abnormal human behavior and its underlying neuronal and neuroendocrinological processes. Different types of animal models of behavioral dysfunctions are reviewed in this article. In order to determine the precise […]

Paleoenvironmental basis of cognitive evolution in great apes

A bias favoring tree-dominated habitats and ripe-fruit frugivory has persisted in great ape evolution since the early Miocene. This bias is indicated by fossil ape paleoenvironments, molar morphology, dental microwear, the geographic pattern of extinctions, and extant apes’ reliance on wooded settings. The ephemeral aspect of high-quality fruit has placed a premium on cognitive and […]

Habitat Use and Structural Preferences of Captive Western Lowland Gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla): Effects of Environmental and Social Variables

Exhibit naturalism has become the architectural standard for new zoo exhibits, yet our scientific understanding of how animals interact with naturalistic environments is very limited. Given the expense incurred in building new exhibits, it is essential that more information on animal-environment interactions be obtained and that it be incorporated at the outset into exhibit designs. […]

In search of relationships between the acute adrenocortical response and fitness

The assumption that the acute response to stress is adaptive is pervasive in the literature, but there is little direct evidence regarding potential positive fitness consequences of an acute stress response. If acute glucocorticoid (GC) elevation increases lifetime reproductive success (fitness), in what contexts does this occur, and through what combination of effects on annual […]

The Stereotypy Analysis: An Instrument for Examining Environmental Variables Associated With Differential Rates of Stereotypic Behavior

The Stereotypy Analysis, a means of analyzing environmental variables associated with differential rates of stereotypic behavior, was conducted with five persons having moderate to profound developmental disabilities. The process involves partial-interval recording of the occurrence of targeted behaviors and the presence/absence of specific environmental events. The Stereotypy Analysis was able to detect environmental events associated […]

How an animal’s behavioural repertoire changes in response to a changing environment: a stochastic model

We describe a stochastic model that simulates how the behavioural repertoires of animals living in complex and stochastic environments change in response to the changing environment. The model incorporates concepts derived from research in three main areas: (a) cognitive models of the environment, (b) the information-primacy hypothesis, and (c) approach/avoidance behaviours to novel and unfamiliar […]

Challenges of Zoo Animal Welfare


Facility design for Bachelor Gorilla groups

This paper emerged from discussions following the Bachelor Gorilla 2000 Workshop Facility Design sessions. Although many ape facility design features are common to all gorillas, the purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of special needs of bachelor gorillas. For example, managing escalating aggression between maturing or silverback males may require a high […]