Artificial Turf Foraging Boards as Environmental Enrichment for Pair-Housed Female Squirrel Monkeys

Julie M. Fekete, Janet L. Norcross, John D. Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


We investigated the use of artificial turf foraging boards to determine if providing captive squirrel monkeys an opportunity for semi-natural foraging behavior would 1) alter the monkeys' time budget to better approximate that seen in wild populations, 2) reduce the stereotypic, self-injurious, and aggressive behavior occasionally seen in captive squirrel monkeys, and 3) provide sustained enrichment. Five groups of pair-housed female squirrel monkeys were videotaped the week prior to, the week following, and for 2 weeks during the enrichment phase, when treat-enhanced boards were provided for 2 h daily. During the first 30 min of daily enrichment, inactivity declined 35.3%, locomotion increased 3.8%, and board-related behaviors occupied 36.3% of the activity budget; these changes were not evident after 1.5 h. Stereotypic behavior (pacing, headswinging, tailchewing) and aggression were not altered by the foraging opportunity. The foraging board retained die interest of the subjects across 2 weeks in the same daily pattern. Use of the foraging board altered die squirrel monkeys' time budget to become more like activity patterns seen in wild populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-26
Number of pages5
JournalContemporary Topics in Laboratory Animal Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)


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