Tree Kangaroo Welfare Essay

Decent Essays
Matschie’s tree kangaroo (Dendrolagus matschiei) population is declining significantly, so to conserve this species, captive breeding programs have been conducted in zoos. Research has shown presence of visitors can have negative impacts on animal welfare, but the welfare implications of visitors on tree kangaroos have not yet been examined. The aim of this study is to determine the impact of visitor presences on Matschie's tree kangaroo welfare. In this experiment, 10 tree kangaroos will be examined by testing two treatment groups: no visitor contact and exposure to visitors. Treatment groups will be tested for 1-day period in a total of 10 study days and 5 days for each treatment group. Instantaneous point sampling and continuous sampling…show more content…
This is because while zoos try to raise awareness on conservation programs by allowing visitors to have a close interaction with animals, this however sometimes comes at the expense of the animals’ welfare (Calyton, Fraser, & Saunders, 2009).Research has suggested that visitors can affect animal behaviour and stress physiology even when animals are separated by barriers (Fernandez et al., 2009). A recent study has indicated that when exposed to visitors, the level of vigilance increased in both Kangaroo Island kangaroos and Red kangaroos. Furthermore, Kangaroo Island kangaroos would increase time spent in locomotion and decrease time spent on resting (Sherwen, 2015). In addition, previous studies have shown that social factors and conditions of confinement have proven to cause stress for tree kangaroos (Hutchins et al., 1991). As a consequence, this reduces the chances of reproductive success, thus zoo populations are declining. A more detailed understanding of tree kangaroo behaviour and stress triggers is needed to advance the reproductive success of this endangered
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