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Salud mental

versão impressa ISSN 0185-3325


MARQUEZ-ARIAS, Alejandra et al. Effect of environmental enrichment in a group of captive spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi). Salud Ment [online]. 2014, vol.37, n.5, pp.437-442. ISSN 0185-3325.

Captive animals suffer from stress and lack of stimulation. Environmental enrichment (EE) provides them with a series of activities that encourages them to present species-specific behaviors. The objective of this work was to analyze the effect of an EE program in the behavior of a 7-spider monkey colony. It was expected that aggression, coprophilia and stereotypes would be less frequent, while exploration and play would increase. The study was divided in two stages: one previous to EE and one while EE was being implemented. A focal sampling per behavior was undertaken in 1-h continuous recordings for a total of 40 hours per stage. We compared the frequency of each behavior with a Wilcoxon's signal test. The results showed that aggression, stereotypes and coprophilia were reduced during EE, while exploration and play increased significantly. No significant differences were found between sexes. EE reduces the problems originated by confinement; therefore, it must be considered a necessary tool to be continuously employed to make an improvement into the life conditions of confined individuals.

Palavras-chave : Behavioral change; animal welfare; environmental enrichment; Ateles geoffroyi.

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