Zoo: Project Planning and Behavioral Issues

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ISSN 1479-5647

The Federation of Zoological Gardens of Great Britain and Ireland

Zoo Research Guidelines
Project Planning and Behavioural Observations

© The Federation of Zoological Gardens of Great Britain and Ireland 2003
All rights reserved. No part of this publication my be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Wehnelt, S., Hosie, C., Plowman, A., and A Feistner (2003) Zoo Research Guidelines: Project Planning and Behavioural
Observations The Federation of Zoological Gardens of Great Britain and Ireland, London
First published 2003
Published and
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Read unpublished projects critically and decide if the information is valid. Avoid following on from a scientifically unsound project unless you can make changes and improve on it. Do not base your project too closely on a previous study as this may be classed as plagiarism. If in doubt consult your project supervisor.
Example: If you were interested in studying the effect of visitor numbers on the behaviour of a group of macaques, your literature search should cover 'macaque behaviour ' both 'in the wild ' and 'in zoos ' plus 'visitor effects on zoo animals/primates '. You could specify your research and measure noise levels or note down age structure of the visitor crowd.



Discuss the project with your supervisor before contacting the zoo or animal collection. A list of suggested projects may be available from your supervisor, the
Zoo Library or the Zoo Research Coordinator. Check carefully what your course requires with regards to the execution and write-up of the project and whether these requirements can be fully met by the intended zoo project. For example, are descriptive statistics adequate or is statistical hypothesis testing a requirement?



If you are planning to investigate physiological parameters to back-up your behavioural observations, make sure you are familiar with the legislation and zoospecific regulations for invasive sampling procedures. The Zoo Federation Research
Group has produced Sampling Guidelines that

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