Wildlife and Exotics
Outdoor Cats: Identifying Differences Between Stakeholder Beliefs, Perceived Impacts, Risk and ManagementSubmitted on Oct 21, 2013 Companion Animals | General Animal Protection | Wildlife and Exotics
There is frequent conflict of opinion over the management of outdoor cats and the risk they pose to wildlife and ecosystems. This study surveyed three stakeholder groups—the general public, supporters of trap-neuter-return (TNR) methods, and members of a bird and conservation advocacy organization—on their attitudes and beliefs about outdoor cats and their management options. While there were significant differences between the three groups in opinions, there were also areas of potential agreement. The authors suggest that focusing on these areas could help policymakers address situations of conflict and stalled debate, which arouses strong feelings on both sides.
Snakes are considered to be an often overlooked and unpopular species when it comes to conservation. This study explored schoolchildren’s attitudes towards snakes and found (contrary to popular belief) that many liked snakes and most wanted to see them protected. Prior contact with snakes was often associated with a greater appreciation for these animals. The results suggest that children have an interest in the protection of less charismatic species.
Florida residents were surveyed on their attitudes, opinions, and knowledge about endangered species. While respondents did not consider endangered species protection as important as other key issues such as the economy, healthcare, and taxes, over half indicated they had a high level of concern for endangered species, and 85% were likely to pay attention to news stories on the issue. 66% of respondents believed the Endangered Species Act should be strengthened. Other topics covered by the survey include beliefs about the influence of humans on species endangerment, state and national influence, attitudes towards protection policies, and willingness to avoid harmful activities or engage in environmental civic behavior.
In recent decades, zoo welfare science has progressed from using primarily resource-based assessments of welfare (e.g. appropriate space, shelter, nutrition) to integrating measurement of the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of individual animals. This paper discusses current directions in zoo animal welfare assessment and emphasizes the importance of integrating the measurement and promotion of positive affective states.
Feather-Damaging Behavior in Companion Parrots: Are Species Differences Intrinsic or Caused by Variations in Husbandry?Submitted on Oct 07, 2013 (Original item from 2013) Companion Animals | General Animal Protection | Wildlife and Exotics
While parrots are not known to inflict damage on their feathers in the wild, this is a common occurrence for those held in captivity. An online survey of parrot guardians was used to explore this phenomenon. The results, which were presented at the Detroit Zoological Society Symposium in August 2011, showed that the rate of feather-damaging behavior varied significantly across different species of parrots.
Residents of a Canadian community in which black bears had been intentionally fed were surveyed before and after a summer of problem bear activity and government interventions. The survey assessed local attitudes about how these bears should be managed and whether this differed from existing bear management policy. The results demonstrate a problem with the public view of intentional wildlife feeding, which is not seen as a serious form of harm to wild animals, despite the possible negative outcomes for food-conditioned animals: death, relocation, or captivity. The study also highlights the gap between public and expert opinion on the relocation and killing of food-conditioned wildlife.
This article explores what factors predict young people’s support for the controversial return of wolves (a threatened species) in Germany. Based on the results, the authors explain what types of educational measures can be used to improve wildlife decision-making processes.
This paper debates whether training is enriching for zoo animals. It concludes that while training can be enriching while the animal is still learning, and if the ultimate consequence of training was considered enriching itself, it is not a sufficient alternative to the provision of conventional environmental enrichment and in some instances may not be suitable. The author recommends that training be considered for each individual on a case-by-case basis, and where implemented should also be accompanied by conventional environmental enrichment.
This article reviews the literature published since 1985 on the ingestion of marine debris by sea turtles around the globe. The authors focus on whether the prevalence of this phenomenon has changed over time, the most commonly ingested types of debris, and the species and ages most at risk.
Environmental Enrichment and Cognitive Complexity in Reptiles and Amphibians: Concepts, Review, and Implications for Captive PopSubmitted on Sep 03, 2013 (Original item from 2013) Entertainment Animals | General Animal Protection | Wildlife and Exotics
The cognitive, emotional, and social world of amphibians and reptiles has received little attention, especially in comparison to that given to mammals and birds. This article offers a review of information on the behavioral complexity of amphibians and reptiles and the implications this has for their life in captivity.
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