Zoo studies in primate physiology, health, and welfare

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
Ashley N Edes
american Journal of Primatology
Wiley Online Library

Researchers have been studying primates in zoos for more than half a century. There are numerous benefits to conducting research with zoo collections, such as access to a variety of species, ease of sample collection, and the potential to manipulate some research variables. While much of the primate research conducted in zoos is behavioral, there also is a tradition of research focused on reproduction and endocrinology, especially in North America. The contributions to this special issue exemplify how this tradition continues today through a collection of articles on basic and applied research on reproduction and using physiological measures of health and welfare that could be beneficial across primate taxa. As is the case for primatological research in zoos more broadly, the articles in this special issue reflect a taxonomic bias for great apes despite the high species diversity found across zoo collections. Given this bias as well as the threat of extinction faced by many species, there remains a pressing need to increase primatology in zoos through research dedicated to both conservation in the wild and wellbeing in human care.


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