CZAAWE Resource Article

Advances in Applied Zoo Animal Welfare Science
Publication Type 
Journal Article
Year of publication 
Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science

Nonhuman animal welfare science is the scientific study of the welfare state of animals that attempts to make inferences about how animals feel from their behavior, endocrine function, and/or signs of physical health. These welfare measurements are applicable within zoos yet inherently more complex than in farms and laboratories. This complexity is due to the vast number of species housed, lack of fundamental biological information, and relatively lower sample sizes and levels of experimental control. This article summarizes the invited presentations on the topic of "Advances in Applied Animal Welfare Science," given at the Fourth Global Animal Welfare Congress held jointly by the Detroit Zoological Society and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums in 2017. The article focuses on current trends in research on zoo animal welfare under the following themes: (a) human-animal interactions and relationships, (b) anticipatory behavior, (c) cognitive enrichment, (d) behavioral biology, and (e) reproductive and population management. It highlights areas in which further advancements in zoo animal welfare science are needed and the challenges that may be faced in doing so.