Putting the “E” in SPIDER: Evolving Trends in the Evaluation of Environmental Enrichment Efficacy in Zoological Settings

In their seminal paper on environmental enrichment, Mellen and MacPhee (2001) proposed a set of broad goals for enrichment in zoological settings, as well as a framework for enrichment programs. Since that time, the philosophy and practice of environmental enrichment in zoos has continued to grow. Here we review evaluations of enrichment efficacy in the […]

The Four Cs of Psychological Wellbeing: Lessons from Three Decades of Computer-based Environmental Enrichment

Three decades ago, the Animal Welfare Act was amended to require researchers to provide environments that promoted the psychological, as well as the physical, wellbeing of nonhuman primates maintained for research purposes. We developed a computer-task paradigm with the goal of promoting and assessing the psychological wellbeing of rhesus monkeys. Some lessons learned in the […]

Impact of Different Forms of Environmental Enrichment on Foraging and Activity Levels in Gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla)

The maintenance of species-specific behaviors for animals in zoological institutions is of top priority, as this can help ensure high levels of animal welfare. Strict feeding schedules within institutions can often impact natural foraging behaviors of animals, as they are no longer required to seek out or manipulate food items. In the wild, western lowland […]

Effect of simple and low-cost enrichment items on behavioral, clinical, and productive variables of caged laying hens

Housing layers in battery cages is a practice still used by many countries but it has been criticized because of its influence on behavioral repertoire of birds. We investigated whether simple and affordable enrichment devices alone impact behavior, foot condition and performance of laying hens housed in conventional cages. Hens were divided into plain cages […]

Effects of environmental enrichment on activity and lameness in commercial broiler production

The aim of this pilot study was to investigate the effects of commercially applied environmental enrichments on behavior and lameness in broilers. Two consecutive flocks of broilers were observed at 16 days and 30 days of age to investigate differences between enriched (peat, bales of lucerne hay, and elevated platforms) and control birds with regards to […]

Improving Leg Health in Broiler Chickens: A Systematic Review of the Effect of Environmental Enrichment

Leg problems are highly prevalent in modern broiler production and provision of environmental enrichment could be a strategy to improve leg health. Different types of environmental enrichment have undergone evaluation. Our objective was to conduct a systematic review of the effect of environmental enrichment on leg health in broiler chickens. The evaluation of leg health […]

Preference for and behavioural response to environmental enrichment in a small population of sexually mature, commercial boars

An increasing public concern over the welfare of livestock species is motivating more producers to consider changes to production practices. Providing environmental enrichment for intensively housed animals is one such potentially welfare-enhancing change. The goal of environmental enrichment is to provide biologically relevant environmental stimuli that allows an animal to perform highly motivated, species-specific behaviours. […]

Different strokes: Can managing behavioral types increase post-release success?☆

Re-introduction programs for endangered animals operate under the hope that protected habitats can sustain viable populations that rely little on humans. The goal of these programs is to supply animals with the resources and skills they need to succeed in the modern wild. However, predicting the set of skills necessary to respond to unpredictable selection […]

Strategy for enriching the environment of captive Ursids

Ursids in the wild spend considerable time and energy in finding and processing food, and defending their territories as compared to captive animals. It has become necessary to provide alternative methods of stimulating natural behaviour to meet both the mental and physical well-being of the captive animals. The present strategy for enriching the environment for […]

Environmental enrichment for the captive spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus)

As part a series of investigations of environmental enrichment methods for zoo animals, two spectacled bears (Tremarctos ornatus) were observed for 40 h, documenting use of cage space and behaviors, using a detailed ethogram. Baseline data showed concentration of activity into limited areas of the enclosure and expression of a relatively restricted subset of the […]