The behaviour of lion-tailed macaques (Macaca silenus) in captivity

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Newman, Rebecca
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The European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) established for the lion-tailed macaque (Macaca silenus) has aimed to sustain a viable captive population but has faced a number of difficulties. This research provides insight into how the captive environment affects the behaviour of lion-tailed macaques and makes recommendations on how zoos can improve their care and management of these macaques. A comparative study undertaken on lion-tailed macaque groups across four European zoos revealed that group size and enclosure complexity had the greatest impact on behaviour. The importance of both the physical and social environment were then examined in the lion-tailed macaque group at Fota Wildlife Park. Relocating the macaque group to a new, larger enclosure increased behavioural diversity, while further research found that visitor level and visitor noise did not negatively impact this group of macaques, with enclosure design potentially a key factor. Examining four undergraduate studies undertaken on the lion-tailed macaques in Fota Wildlife Park over a period of six years, revealed how alterations to the size and composition of a captive group can have significant effects on behaviour. The introduction of three new males into the lion-tailed macaque group at Fota emphasized the importance of slow and careful methods when introducing unfamiliar individuals. The introduction of another male to a singly-housed male macaque highlighted the benefits of pair- housing, even in a species where males typically do not tolerate one another. Four simple and cheap water-based enrichments were also assessed for a pair-housed male and female lion-tailed macaque. Several recommendations are made on the husbandry and management of lion-tailed macaques in captivity.
Zoo , Captivity , Macaque , Environmental enrichment , Behaviour
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