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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Primates: Present food items whole instead of processed Management of Captive Animals

Key messages

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  • One before-and-after study in the USA found that when macaques were presented with whole foods instead of chopped foods the amount consumed and time spent feeding increased.


Supporting evidence from individual studies

A before-and-after study in 1989 in the USA (Smith et al. 1989) found that when lion-tailed macaques Macaca silenus were presented with whole foods instead of chopped foods the total amount of food consumed and the time spent feeding increased. The average macaque consumed 395g of whole food compared to 306g of chopped food per day. Time spend feeding was greater, as a result of increased consumption and processing requirements, when whole foods were offered. A group of 12 lion-tailed macaques was given fruits and vegetables whole or chopped on alternate days. Feeding data was collected by one observer between 09:00 h and 11:00 h, observing one animal’s behaviour each day for two consecutive days for the chopped control and whole treatment totalling 40 days of observations.    (CJ)


Please cite as:

Jonas, C.S., Timbrell, L.L., Young, F., Petrovan, S.O., Bowkett, A.E. & Smith, R.K. (2019) Management of Captive Animals. Pages 539-567 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, N. Ockendon, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2019. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.