Munds, R. A., Best, K., Hoppy, P. et al. 2007. Captive lemur response to two types of natural enrichment. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 132(S44), 175 (76th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists Program, Abstract).

Enrichment has been known to increase the well being and species typical behavior of captive animals. While much research has been done on the effectiveness of enrichment or captive monkeys and apes, research on enrichment of captive lemurs is not as common. This study focused on two types of enrichment that increased the natural behaviors of two types of lemurs. Foraging postures on different feeding devices were noted during feeding and other activities for black and white ruffed lemurs (Varecia veriegata veriegata). A total of 48 hours of 30-second scan samples was collected, comparing responses to three devices (one being a “control” tub on the ground). Sniffing and scent-marking of olfactory enrichment and other materials in the enclosure was recorded for black lemurs (Eulemur macaco macaco). 64 hours of 30-second scans were collected, comparing response to three olfactory stimuli and a control of no stimulus (introduced sterile branch). Both hanging bowls and mesh feeders resulted in an increase in hanging postures of ruffed lemurs. Hanging bowls resulted in suspensory postures 24.1% of the feeding time, and mesh feeders 22.8% of the time, while standard tub bowls elicited only 3.3% suspended feeding time. More scent-marking behaviors on the introduced branch were seen in response to the three olfactory stimuli. Lemur scent elicited the most response with 46% directed to branch. The other two introduced scents, onion and perfume, resulted in only 15% of scent-marking behavior directed towards the enrichment. The control, no scent, had the least response with only 10%.

Animal Type