Establishment of a Captive All-male Group of Proboscis Monkey (Nasalis larvatus) at the Singapore Zoo
Article first published online: 1 MAY 2012
© 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
How to Cite
Sha, J. C. M., Alagappasamy, S., Chandran, S., Cho, K. M. and Guha, B. (2012), Establishment of a Captive All-male Group of Proboscis Monkey (Nasalis larvatus) at the Singapore Zoo. Zoo Biol.. doi: 10.1002/zoo.21020
- Article first published online: 1 MAY 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 14 MAR 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 7 MAR 2012
- Manuscript Received: 8 JUN 2010
- intragroup interactions;
- food competition;
- dominance hierarchy;
- spatial use
Surplus male proboscis monkeys at the Singapore Zoo pose a considerable problem for maintenance and maximizing of exhibition potential. In 2008, a new exhibit was constructed to house and display a group of six proboscis monkey males born in Singapore Zoo. To document and monitor the all-male group establishment in the new exhibit, we conducted observations on intragroup interactions between the monkeys, spatial use of their new exhibit, and visitor effects on their behavior. We found contact aggressive interactions between the monkeys to be consistently lower than noncontact aggressive interactions and by week six of introduction to the new exhibit, contact aggression was almost nonevident. Affiliative interactions also developed between individuals in the group, with an interface of aggressive and socioreconcilatory behavior influenced by food competition and a dominance hierarchy. This was evident from significantly higher overall aggression and affiliation during feeding times compared to nonfeeding times, and this was reduced when food competition was mitigated by modifying the feeding regime. We measured the groups’ spatial use of the exhibit and the relation to behavior, crowd size, and density. Our results showed that the proboscis monkeys utilized the available exhibit space, were largely unaffected by visitor crowd size and density, and were able to exhibit a variety of natural behaviors, including swimming. Our accomplishment in maintaining and displaying an all-male group of proboscis monkeys in captivity provides viable options for more comprehensive captive management and breeding programs for this endangered species. Zoo Biol. 00:1.16, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.