Cluster analysis in ethological research

Abstract

T. V. Antonenko, S. V. Pysarev, A. V. Matsyura, E. V. Antonenko

Abstract. Big cats are often on display in zoos around the world. The study of their time budget is the basis of ethological research in captivity. The paper considers the features of the behavior of the subfamily Pantherinae, the daily activity of animals in the summer, methods of keeping, the exposition of enclosures, and relationships with keepers. The studies were conducted in the summer of 2012 and 2013 at the Barnaul Zoo. The total observation time for the animals was 120 hours. The behavior of the African lion (Panthera leo leo – male), the Ussuri tiger (Panthera tigris altaica – female), and the Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis – male) has been studied. In the course of the work, the compilation of ethograms, continuous recording, and free observations were used. The clustering method was applied to analyze the patterns of behavior of animals in captivity. Cluster analysis breaks down the behavior of captivities animals into two large blocks. Locomotion in animals should be considered as a separate block. The animal’s growth and development period require a high proportion of physical activity, which is noticeable when observing the Amur tiger. Locomotion occupied 32.8% of the total time budget of this animal. Large cats have never been in a shelter (in wooden structures of the appropriate size). They used the roof of the houses only as a place for rest and observation. The proportion of marking, hunting, eating, exploratory behavior, grooming, and such forms of behavior as freezing, static position, orienting reaction did not differ significantly.

Play behavior with elements of hunting and manipulative activity took 5.5% of the Amur tiger’s time budget for the period under review. We associate this primarily with the age of the given animal. Play behavior was observed two times less often in the Far Eastern leopard (2.9%) and African lion (2.6%).

Keywords: Big cats, captive animals, environmental enrichment, cluster analysis, Pantherinae.
 

References

 

Bashaw M. J., Kelling A. S., Bloomsmith M. A. & Maple T. L. 2007. Environmental effects on the behavior of zoo-housed lions and tigers, with a case study of the effects of a visual barrier on pacing. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science. 10, 95-109.

Bashaw, M. J. (2003). Consistent effects of controllability of environmental events? In: Bashaw M. J., Kelling A. S., Bloomsmith M. A. & Maple T. L. 2007. Environmental effects on the behavior of zoo-housed lions and tigers, with a case study of the effects of a visual barrier on pacing. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science. 10, 95-109. Burgener N., Gusset M. & Schmid H. 2008. Frustrated appetitive foraging behavior, stereotypic pacing, and fecal glucocorticoid levels in snow leopards (Uncia uncia) in the Zurich Zoo. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science. 11, 74-83.

Bureeva. N.N. (2007). Multivariate statistical analysis using PPP “STATISTICA.” and mechanics “. Nizhny Novgorod. 112.

Jenny S. & Schmid H. 2002. Effect of feeding boxes on the behavior of stereotyping Amur tigers (Panthera tigris altaica) in the Zurich Zoo, Zurich, Switzerland. Zoo Biology. 21, 573-584.

Margualis. S.W., Hoyos. C., Anderson. M. (2003). Effect of felid activity on zoo visitor interest. Zoo Biology, 22, 587-599.

Mason G. J. 2010. Species differences in responses to captivity: stress, welfare and the comparative method. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 25, 713-721.

Mason G., Clubb R., Latham N. & Vickery S. 2007. Why and how should we use environmental enrichment to tackle stereotypic behaviour? Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 102, 163-188.

Mason, G.J., 1991. Stereotypies: a critical review. Animal Behaviour. 41, 1015–1037. Melfi V. 2013. Is training zoo animals enriching? Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 147, 299-305.

Mills D. & Luescher L. 2008. Veterinary and pharmacological approaches to abnormal repetitive behaviour. In: Mason G. & Rushen J. Stereotypic Behaviour in Captive Animals: Fundamentals and Applications for Welfare, 2nd ed. CAB International, Wallingford.

Morgan K. N. & Tromborg C. T. 2007. Sources of stress in captivity. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 102, 262-302.

Roesch. H. (2003). Olfactoty environmental enrichment of felids and the potential uses of conspecific odours. A thesis of degree a master of science in Zoology. Institute of veterinary, animal and biomedical sciences. Massey University, 211.

Papaeva. N.A., Neprintseva. E.S. (2011). The influence of visitors on the behavior of cats at the Moscow Zoo. Communication 1. Use of open-air cage spaces. Scientific research in zoological parks, 27, 77-88.

Popov. S.V., Ilchenko. O.G. (2008). Zoo Research Manual: Guidelines for Ethological Observation of Mammals in Zoos. Moscow: Moscow Zoo.

Spruijt. B.M., De Visser. L. (2006) Advanced behavioural screening: automated home cage ethology. Drug Discovery Today: Technologies, 3(2), 231-237.

Swaisgood R. R. & Shepherdson D. J. 2005. Scientific approaches to enrichment and stereotypies in zoo animals: what’s been done and where should we go next? Zoo Biology. 24, 499-518.

Veselova. N.A., Blokhin. G.I., Gilitskaya. Yu.Yu. (2013). Analysis of the influence of olfactory enrichment of the environment on the behavior of some representatives of the cat family (Felidae) in artificial conditions. Natural and technical sciences, 6(68),127-133.

Ward. S.J., Melfi. V. (2015). Keeper-Animal Interactions: Differences between the Behaviour of Zoo Animals Affect Stockmanship. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0140237

Westlund K. 2014. Training is enrichment – and beyond. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 152, 1-6.

Share this article