Preliminary investigation of the effects of a concert on the behavior of zoo animals
AffiliationUniversity of Chester; Knowsley Safari Park, ZSL; Tayto Park
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AbstractTo increase visitor footfall and engagement, zoos may host public events which may extend outside of typical opening hours. With plans to hold a 2-day concert at Tayto Park, Ireland, this study aimed to identify the behavioral response to the music event of a selected group of species in the zoo. Twenty-two species were observed across three Phases of the event (pre-, during and post-event). Specific behaviors of interest were categorized as active, resting, asleep, abnormal, and out of sight, with repeated observations being made at each enclosure during each Phase. Alongside these behavioral data, Sound Pressure Levels (SPLs) were concurrently recorded at the observation locations in terms of both dB(A) and dB(C). The median dB(C) levels during the event were found to be significantly higher (mdn = 64.5dB) when compared with both pre- (mdn = 60.7dB) and post-event Phases (mdn = 59.4dB), whilst dB(A) levels were only significantly higher during the event (51.7dB) when compared with the pre-event Phase (mdn = 49.8dB). We found some species-specific behavioral changes (mainly associated with active and resting behaviors) correlated with increased SPLs and/or event itself. However, the behavioral responses varied between species and there were numerous species which did not respond with any change in behavior to the increased SPLs or the event itself. This variation in response across species reinforces the need for monitoring of behavioral changes as well as consideration of their natural behavioral ecology when implementing appropriate mitigation strategies. Further research should be encouraged to provide evidence-based assessment of how music events may affect animal welfare and behavior and to test the efficacy of mitigation strategies that are implemented to safeguard animal welfare.
CitationHarley, J. J., Rowden, L. J., Clifforde, L. M., Power, A. & Stanley, C.R. (2022). Preliminary investigation of the effects of a concert on the behavior of zoo animals. Zoo Biology, 41(4), 308-327. https://doi.org/10.1002/zoo.21676
DescriptionThis is the peer reviewed version of the following article: [Harley, J. J., Rowden, L. J., Clifforde, L. M., Power, A. & Stanley, C.R. (2022). Preliminary investigation of the effects of a concert on the behavior of zoo animals. Zoo Biology, 41(4), 308-327], which has been published in final form at [https://doi.org/10.1002/zoo.21676]. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.
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