The Effect of environmental enrichment on Salvator merianae (Squamata: Teiidae) under captivity conditions

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
Ana Gabriela Dantur, Alejandra M Hurtado, Silvia N Chamut
Acta Zoológica Lilloana
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Environmental enrichment seeks to improve the quality of care for animals in captivity through the constant generation of new sources of stimuli to simulate a complexand changing environment. Salvator merianae is a species of large lizard whose native distribution covers the subtropical and humid zones of southeastern South America. The study was carried out in the Experimental Lizard Hatchery belonging to the Facultad de Agronomía y Zootecnia from Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, UNT for its initials in Spanish. Two pens were used, a control group R1 (Enclosure 1) and an experimental group R2 (Enclosure 2), where data were taken ithout enrichment (R2 W/O-E) and with enrichment (R2 WE). An ethogram was used to record the different behaviors that were then grouped into eight categories to evaluate how animals spend their time. Behaviors were recorded on video, the applied technique was the focal animal sampling with instantaneous recording, the extracted data were exported into individual spreadsheets. The Landau index was calculated to determine the existence of hierarchies. The data suggest that the modification of the enclosure conditions has the capacity to alter the behavioral profiles. Only a few behavioral categories showed significant differences. No significant differences were found, in the frequency of the behavioral categories, between males and females. There was a decrease in the frequency of reproductive behavior in males in R2. There was a non-linear hierarchy among the individuals. A ecrease in the chases was observed among individuals in R2.


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