Journal article

Number of nearby visitors and noise level affect vigilance in captive koalas

Megan J Larsen, Sally L Sherwen, Jean-Loup Rault

Applied Animal Behaviour Science | ELSEVIER | Published : 2014


Understanding human-animal interactions is particularly important for institutions that display animals to the public due to the frequent, and sometimes intense, interactions with unfamiliar humans. Past research has shown that visitors can have a negative impact on the welfare of a wide range of captive zoo species through an activation of the stress response, which influences energy metabolism. The koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) evolved on a specific diet of extremely low energy content and is therefore likely to be particularly susceptible to any effects from stress. However, the knowledge of visitor effects on captive koala behaviour and welfare is almost non-existent. The effects of vis..

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University of Melbourne Researchers