Lutz, C. K., Brown, T. A. 2018. Porches as enrichment for singly housed cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis). JAALAS 57(2), 138-142.
Effective environmental enrichment is used by animals, promotes species-typical behavior, and decreases abnormal behavior. Porches attached to the front of an animal's cage provide additional space, perching opportunities, and a better view of the surroundings. Here we assessed the effectiveness of porches as a form of enrichment and identified characteristics of the animals most likely to use the porches. We videorecorded and scored the behavior of 18 (9 male, 9 female) singly housed cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis) during 3 observation intervals (15 min each) the week before, during, and after exposure to the porches. Changes in abnormal and tension-related behaviors (pacing, yawning, scratching) and speciestypical behaviors were compared across the 3 wk of observation. Novel object temperament tests were performed before and after the study. During observation periods, subjects spent an average of 75% of time in the porch. No changes in pacing or tension-related behaviors occurred, but activity decreased during and after porch exposure, rest increased during the porch exposure, and consumption decreased afterward. Eight subjects were categorized as having a bold temperament, and the remaining 10 subjects had an intermediate temperament. Sex and a temperament×cage location interaction were predictors of porch usage. Males used the porches more than did females, and those with an intermediate temperament were less likely to use the porches when they were located in the lower cages. Porches are beneficial in that they are used for extensive periods of time, but the benefits can vary according to the individual animal.