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Studying Captive Animals A Workbook of Methods in Behaviour, Welfare and Ecology von Rees, Paul A. (eBook)

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 05.03.2015
  • Verlag: Wiley-Blackwell
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Studying Captive Animals

Studying Captive Animals outlines the methods that may be used to study the behaviour, welfare and ecology of animals living under the control of humans, including companion animals, feral populations, and those living on farms and in zoos. This book is a step-by-step guide to the whole process of conducting a scientific study: from designing the original project, formulating testable hypotheses, and collecting and analysing the data, to drawing conclusions from the work and writing it up as a scientific report or paper. It also illustrates how to write a formal research proposal - a crucial and often difficult element of the student project - and how to deal with the ethical review process. Sample data collection sheets are provided and the analysis and presentation of data are worked through in diagrammatic form. In addition, exercises are included that enable the reader to practice analysing different types of data and advice is provided on the selection of appropriate statistical tests. The text describes the different types of student projects that may be undertaken in the field, and explains where secondary data may be found for zoos. This is an insightful resource, particularly for those studying and working with zoo and farm animals. It is essential reading for students studying zoo biology and animal management; it is also suitable for students on courses in animal behaviour, animal welfare, zoology, biology, psychology, animal science, animal production, animal ecology, conservation biology, and veterinary science. This book is primarily intended for undergraduates but will also be of value to postgraduate students who have not previously engaged in field studies. Professionals working in institutions that are members of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria and other regional and national zoo organisations will benefit from access to this practical guide. Dr Paul A. Rees is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Environment and Life Sciences at the University of Salford where he teaches zoo biology and wildlife law. He previously taught a wide range of subjects including biology, psychology and environmental science in a number of colleges in the UK and was formerly Senior Lecturer in Ecology at the Sokoto College of Education, Nigeria. Dr Rees conducted research on feral cats for his PhD, funded by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and has a long standing interest in large mammals, especially the ecology, behaviour and conservation of elephants. He once worked as an elephant keeper.


    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: AdobeDRM
    Seitenzahl: 320
    Erscheinungsdatum: 05.03.2015
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9781118629345
    Verlag: Wiley-Blackwell
    Größe: 37959 kBytes
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Studying Captive Animals

Studies of Behaviour, Welfare and Ecology in Captive Animals

To begin at the beginning

Dylan Thomas (1954)

Fig. 1.1 North American porcupine ( Erethizon dorsatum ).
1.1 What Are Captive Animals?

1.1.1 Introduction

For the purposes of this book I have defined captive animals as those that are, or have recently been, under the control of humans. This includes zoo and farm animals, companion animals and free-ranging feral animals, but not animals kept in laboratory conditions. In most cases they are confined in relatively small areas (or volumes) by fences, walls and other barriers, and are unable to escape. In some cases they are free-ranging but still remain closely associated with humans.
1.1.2 A Short and Incomplete History of Captive Animal Studies

Studies of animals kept in captivity have a long history. Over 2300 years ago the Greek philosopher Aristotle wrote his History of Animals (Aristotle, 350 bc; trans. 1910). Alexander the Great captured many exotic animals on his military expeditions and sent them back to Greece where they were kept in menageries. Most of the city states of Greece had such menageries and these would have given Aristotle the opportunity to study animals that he would not have been able to see in the wild. The History of Animals contains descriptions of various aspects of animal behaviour that can only relate to captive animals For example, he discusses mating in the camel:

The male camel declines intercourse with its mother; if his keeper tries compulsion, he evinces disinclination. On one occasion, when intercourse was being declined by the young male, the keeper covered over the mother and put the young male to her; but, when after the intercourse the wrapping had been removed, though the operation was completed and could not be revoked, still by and by he bit his keeper to death.

Aristotle even refers to the training of elephants:

Of all wild animals the most easily tamed and the gentlest is the elephant. It can be taught a number of tricks, the drift and meaning of which it understands; as, for instance, it can be taught to kneel in presence of the king. It is very sensitive and possessed of an intelligence superior to that of other animals.

The Roman emperors kept many animals in private collections for study and for use in the Roman Games, where they perished in very large numbers. These animals were supplied by the Roman military and acquired from the rulers of the countries where the animals were endemic (Epplett, 2001). Thousands of wild animals were slaughtered when the Colosseum was inaugurated in ad 80.

The first zoo created for scientific purposes was the Regent's Park Zoo in London, now known as ZSL London Zoo. It was founded in 1828. Two years earlier in 1826 Stamford Raffles had founded the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). The first scientific meetings of the Society were held in 1830 and in the same year the first Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London were published. Initially the zoo was open only to Fellows of the Zoological Society and others with a written 'order' from a Fellow. It was fully opened to the public some 20 years later in 1847.

The scientific interest in zoo animals in Victorian times was largely concerned with anatomy and taxonomy and did not extend to concern for their welfare or any detailed consideration of their behaviour. Early enclosures were barren and many species were held behind iron bars ( Fig. 1.2 ).

Fig. 1.2 The polar bear ( Ursus maritimus ) enclosure at the former Belle Vue Zoo, Manchester (UK), constructed c.1850.

Source: Reproduced with permission, Chetham's Library, Manchester.

Animal welfare legislation is not yet 200 years old. I

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