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Determinants of Grooming Behavior in Captive Langurs under Human Disturbance: A Case Study from the Central Zoo, Kathmandu, Nepal

Determinants of Grooming Behavior in Captive Langurs under Human Disturbance: A Case Study from the Central Zoo, Kathmandu, Nepal

Shailendra Sharma, Smriti Shrestha, Naresh Pandey and Laxman Khanal*

Central Department of Zoology, Institute of Science and Technology, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal.
 
Corresponding author: Laxman Khanal
lkhanal@cdztu.edu.np

ABSTRACT

Social behavior among primates is crucial to their health and survival. Captive primates under human disturbance are often stressed, which disrupts their social interactions. Therefore, identifying the factors affecting social behavior is important for managing animals in captivity. This study investigated whether visitors’ number and disturbance affect the grooming frequency and duration of the langurs (Semnopithecus sp.) housed in Central Zoo, Kathmandu, Nepal. Further, it tested if the effects were biased to the age and sex of the animals. Behavioral data were collected through the focal animal sampling method for 101 hours, and human disturbances were categorized into four levels based on the number and behavior of visitors. Out of the entire activity budget, resting (49.27%) constituted the highest proportion, followed by feeding (22.93%) and grooming (12.59%). There was a negative association between the grooming behavior and the number of visitors; however, no significant difference was observed in grooming proportion before and after visits. Higher levels of disturbance had a significant negative effect on the grooming frequency and time investment. The non-lactating adult female delivered higher grooming to the troop members, while the sub-adult male received more grooming than others. We conclude that the nature of disturbance rather than the number of visitors affects social bonding among the captive langurs. 
 
Novelty Statement | This study categorized the zoo visitors’ disturbance into different levels and tested its effects on the grooming behavior of captive langurs against age/sex categories.
 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

December

Vol. 54, Iss. 6, Pages 2501-3000

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