Reamer, L., Tooze, Z., Coulson, C. et al. 2010. Correlates of self-directed and stereotypic behaviours in captive red-capped mangabeys (Cercocebus torquatus torquatus). Applied Animal Behaviour Science 124(1-2), 68-74.
The quantification of behaviours linked to anxiety or stress provides a powerful means to address applied questions related to the well-being of captive animals. This study explored correlates of two such behaviours: self-directed (SDB) and stereotypic behaviour (STB) among captive red-capped mangabeys, Cercocebus torquatus torquatus. Study animals were held at two sites run by CERCOPAN, a primate sanctuary in Nigeria. At the first site (Calabar), animals were housed in traditional cage enclosures, while at the second (Rhoko), they lived in a semi-free ranging environment. Analyses revealed that while animals at the two sites did not differ in time spent in SDB (self-scratching, self-grooming, yawning and body shaking), animals at Calabar showed a higher prevalence of, and spent more time in STB (pacing and head rolling). There were no significant differences in time spent in SDB or STB between the sexes, or between captive-born and wild-born animals. A positive correlation was found between age and time spent in SDB, but not between age and time spent in STB. Finally, positive relationships were found between time spent in SDB and both time spent grooming and time spent being groomed; no relationships were found between grooming behaviour and STB. As stress and anxiety can have detrimental effects on psychological well-being, physical health and reproduction, these findings have important implications for the captive welfare and conservation of red-capped mangabeys, and also potentially of other endangered vertebrate species.