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A Comparison of the Activity Budgets of Wild and Captive Sulawesi Crested Black Macaques (Macaca Nigra)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 January 2023

V A Melfi*
Department of Zoology, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland
A T C Feistner
Research Department, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Les Augrès Manor, Trinity Jersey JE3 5BP, Channel Islands
* Contact for correspondence and requests for reprints:


One aim of environmental enrichment techniques is to replicate ‘wild-like’ behaviour in captivity. In this study, three captive troops of Sulawesi crested black macaques (Macaca nigra) were each observed for 100 h in large naturalistic enclosures. Activity budgets constructed from these observations were compared with published data collected from wild troops in the DuaSudara Nature Reserve, Sulawesi (O ‘Brien & Kinnaird 1997). No significant difference was found between the activity budgets of the wild and the captive macaques, although social, resting and feeding behaviours were significantly different between zoos. There was more rest and less movement and feeding in captivity, although these differences were not significant. The relatively large number of individuals, the wide variety of age-sex classes and the large and complex naturalistic enclosures provided for them may have been important factors in promoting wild-like behaviour. This study shows that captive primates can exhibit wild-type activity budgets.

Research Article
© 2002 Universities Federation for Animal Welfare

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