Wildlife and Exotics
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.
This piece takes issue with a peer-reviewed journal article that concluded that humane slaughter cannot be properly carried out during the Canadian seal hunt. The authors argue that the article in question presented a biased perspective and relied on video footage that did not meet scientific rigor.
Camouflage-Collar Crime: An Examination of Wildlife Crime and Characteristics of Offenders in FloridaSubmitted on Aug 05, 2013 (Original item from 2013) General Animal Protection | Wildlife and Exotics
This study involved a large-scale analysis of thousands of wildlife crimes in Florida in an effort to uncover a categorization scheme for such offenses. The analysis focused on the nature and extent of these crimes as well as on building a demographic profile of the offenders.
This report summarizes results from Year 6 of the Animal Tracker annual survey of U.S. adults regarding attitudes and behavior toward animals. The first survey (Year 1, 2008) included 16 questions; a subset of five of these questions was repeated in Year 3 (2010) and again in the current year (Year 6, 2013). In summary, the most recent survey finds that, while there is limited knowledge of animals other than companions, most people believe it is important to protect all animals. The perceived impact of animal advocates is modest, but most people hold favorable attitudes toward animal protection and support advocacy goals.
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