Evaluation of Sound Enrichment in the Behavior of Sapajus xanthosternos (Wied-Neuwied, 1826)(Primates: Cebidae) in Captivity

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
Alana Marques dos Santos, Márcio Borba da Silva, Isabela Sousa Prado, Edma Santos de Antonio, Ana Tereza Teixeira Silva Dourado, Barbara Silva Alves, Patricia Belini Nishiyama, Laize Tomazi, Ricardo Evangelista Fraga
Primate Conservation
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Techniques of environmental enrichment are used to ameliorate stress that captivity imposes on animals. They consist of modifications to the captive environment aiming to benefit the animals there present, providing for activities that are closer to their natural behavior, minimizing the occurrence of abnormal behaviors, expanding the behavioral repertoire, increasing positive exploration, and increasing their capacity to deal with the challenges the environment imposes. This study applied a sensory enrichment technique as a resource for improving conditions of captivity, verifying the influence of sound enrichment with classical music on the behavioral display of yellow-breasted capuchins, Sapajus xanthosternos, being kept
in the Wild Animal Screening Center in Vitória da Conquista, Bahia, Brazil. We recorded their behavior at three stages—preenrichment, enrichment and post-enrichment—using all occurrences and focal animals. Behavioral displacement, interaction with ordinary items, feeding, threatening, escape, standing idle, stereotypical movement, and tail manipulation were most commonly recorded in the pre-enrichment stage, decreasing progressively during the enrichment and post-enrichment stages. The behaviors of running away, standing idle and stereotypic movements showed significant differences. The use of sound enrichment was correlated with a reduction in behaviors of rest, escape and stereotyped behaviors, suggesting that they spent more time in other activities such as foraging, and also in an increased behavioral repertoire, including sexual behavior. The application of new techniques of sensory enrichment, such as auditory stimulation is indicated as an alternative environmental enrichment. The present study showed that classical music had an anxiolytic effect, reducing behaviors associated with stress, and as such measurably improving behavioral conditions in captivity. This form of enrichment is easily combined with other enrichment techniques to improve the behavioral and social environment of captive primates.


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