Journal of Biodiversity Management & ForestryISSN: 2327-4417

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Research Article, J Biodivers Manage Forestry Vol: 2 Issue: 3

The Effect of Zoo Visitors on Activity Patterns of Captive African Herbivores

Tamara Kalioujny 1, Robert B Weladji1*, Patrick Paré2 and Sacha C Engelhardt1
1Department of Biology, Concordia University, 7141 Sherbrooke St. West, Montreal, QC, H4B 1R6, Canada
2Department of Research and Conservation, Granby Zoo, 525, rue Saint- Hubert, Granby, QC, J2G 5P3, Canada
Corresponding author : Robert B. Weladji
Department of Biology, Concordia University, 7141 Sherbrooke St. West, Montreal, QC, H4B 1R6, Canada
Tel: 514.848.2424 ext. 3408; Fax: 514.848.2881
E-mail: [email protected]
Received: June 20, 2013 Accepted: October 29, 2013 Published: November 02, 2013
Citation: Kalioujny T, Weladji RB, Paré P, Engelhardt SC (2013) The Effect of Zoo Visitors on Activity Patterns of Captive African Herbivores. J Biodivers Manage Forestry 2:3. doi:10.4172/2327-4417.1000112

Abstract

The Effect of Zoo Visitors on Activity Patterns of Captive African Herbivores

The role of zoos to conserve biodiversity is increasingly being recognized, but greater attention must be paid to good captive health, welfare, and population viability of species of interest. Several researchers have reported on the visitor effect on captive primate and felid behavior, and research has remained scarce on large captive herbivores, particularly in a mixed-species exhibit. The effect of zoo visitors on the activity budgets of twelve herbivores of four species at the Granby Zoo was investigated. The activity budget of individuals was monitored during the pre- and peak visitor seasons for a total of 20 observation days. Number of visitors had an effect on the daily activity budgets of Common elands and Thomson’s gazelle but did not have an effect on giraffes and zebras. The proportion of time spent feeding by Thomson’s gazelles increased whilst that of elands decreased as the number of visitors increased. This study summarizes the information on the activity of these species in the wild and provides new information on these species in captivity.

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