Date of Award
Master of Arts
Zoos play an increasingly important role in primate conservation due to the fact that primate species are increasingly endangered in the wild. Zoos now play a key role by preserving examples of genetic variation. The well-being of zoo animals is therefore of utmost concern. The goal of this study was to examine the effect of visitor presence on a newly transferred group of golden-headed lion tamarins (Leontopithecus chrysomelas) as they acclimated to a new zoo environment. Data were recorded on days when the zoo was open and on days it was closed to document any effects caused by visitor presence. Data were collected using visual scan sampling every five minutes to record the tamarins' general activity and space use behavior. The results showed that as the amount of visitors increased, tamarin activity decreased. The findings also illustrated that tamarin visibility and activity rates did not differ on zoo open versus zoo closed days. The results of this study indicates that zoo visitors do have an effect on animal behavior, but future research is desired to determine how strong that relationship is as well as its effects on primate well-being on a broader scale.
Lindsay Jane Ingram
Ingram, Lindsay Jane, "Golden-headed lion tamarin (Leontopithecus chrysomelas) acclimation to a new zoo habitat: The effect of visitor presence on behavior" (2009). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 11038.