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Effect of sensory enrichments on the behaviour of captive Northern lynx (Lynx lynx lynx) and assessment of automated behaviour monitoring technologies
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Captive environments like zoo exhibits offer limited space, lacking many of the environmental stimuli that are present in the wild. This may reduce animal welfare and potentially lead to the development of stereotypic behaviour like pacing. Environmental enrichment is used to prevent and reduce pacing and enhance animal well-being. The aim of this project was to evaluate sensory enrichments, and the effect of such enrichment on pacing in a group of Northern lynx by means of new, automated monitoring technologies in combination with traditional visual observations. The lynxes were exposed to valerian, catnip and cinnamon as olfactory enrichment. The acoustic enrichments were play-backed mouse squeals, roe deer barking and lynx vocalizations, and live crickets. The responses of the lynx were recorded by logging their subcutaneous HDX pit tags, and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tags mounted on collars and using a wildlife camera. The results showed that catnip elicited clear “catnip responses” i.e sniffing, rubbing, biting and licking. The sounds were found to attract the lynxes and increase their arousal. One of the sounds, the lynx calls, elicited social behaviour. However, none of the sensory treatments reduced pacing. The combination of these automated technologies with visual observation was powerful to evaluate the effect of enrichment on captive lynxes and to monitor their activity patterns and stereotypic behaviours. Sensory enrichment could also be used in the wild as lures to attract lynxes to BLE or HDX PIT tag logging stations and to wildlife cameras, as part of monitoring a lynx population. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 57
Keywords [en]
Automatic monitoring, Environmental enrichment, Northern Lynx, Pacing, Odour, Sound
National Category
Behavioral Sciences Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-157359ISRN: LITH-IFM-A-EX--19/3610--SEOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-157359DiVA, id: diva2:1322271
External cooperation
Kolmården Wildlife Park
Subject / course
Biology
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-06-11 Created: 2019-06-10 Last updated: 2019-06-11Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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