Influence of environmental enrichment on the behavioral variables of caged Hyacinth Macaws (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus)

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
Cristiane Tibério Checon, Derek A Rosenfield, Pedro Nacib Jorge-Neto, Cristiane Schilbach Pizzutto
Ornithology Research
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The Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) is a species considered vulnerable by the IUCN Red List, and many individuals are found in captivity in Brazil. In captive environments, due to the lack of stimuli, these animals demonstrate abnormal behaviors due to a high degree of inactivity. Among the strategies to minimize this problem, increase the natural behavior, and improve the well-being are the techniques of environmental enrichment of the enclosure. In order to investigate the effectiveness of these techniques for this species, we evaluated two distinct phases: the time before and the time during the implementation of enrichment, using an ethogram. The method employed was based on the sample session by time interval, totaling 20 h per individual, per phase. As an enrichment, natural objects (branches, vines, and leaves) were assembled into mobiles, containing pieces of the animal’s daily diet. The electivity index was applied to compare the use of different quadrants and the different locations in the enclosure. The results showed greater exploration of the enclosure, a reduction of abnormal behaviors, and a decrease of inactivity. The quadrants were more used by both couples during the environmental enrichment phase and the decrease in the use of wire mesh was offset by the increase in ground use. In view of the results found, we conclude that environmental enrichment demonstrated to be an important tool in the management of captive hyacinth macaws, providing a better quality of life.


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