Action: Carnivores: Alter food abundance or type seasonally
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- No evidence was captured for the effects of altering food abundance or type seasonally on captive carnivores.
'No evidence' for an action means we have not yet found any studies that directly and quantitatively tested this action during our systematic journal and report searches. Therefore we have been unable to assess whether or not the action is effective or has any harmful impacts. Please get in touch if you know of such a study for this action.
The diets of many wild carnivores change across different seasons but this may not be reflected in their captive husbandry. There is evidence to suggest stereotypic behaviours in captivity can alter seasonally due to innate urges to mate and forage at different times of the year . Not only this, weight management can also be an issue due to a lack of understanding of the yearly feeding ecology as well as food availability in each zoo . Altering food type seasonally aims to maintain the health of the animal as well as encourage natural annual feeding cycles.
 Carlstead, K., Seidensticker, J. 1991. Seasonal variation in stereotypic pacing in an American black bear Ursus americanus. Behavioural Processes, 25, 155-161.
 Lisi, K.J., Barnes, T, L., Edwards, M.S. 2013. Bear weight management: a diet reduction plan for an obese spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus). Journal of Zoo and Aquarium Research, 1, 81-84.