Together We Protect

July 4th, 2024

Environmental enrichment is a dynamic process used by zoological spaces to provide stimuli that meet the animals’ needs and enhance their quality of life.

In a partnership between several researchers (MARE / ISPA and Zoomarine), a study was recently published in the prestigious scientific journal Animals, which explored how environmental enrichment affects the behaviour of a group of scarlet ibis (Eudocimus ruber) at Zoomarine. Despite being a popular species in many zoological spaces, scarlet ibis have not received much attention in the context of environmental enrichment.

The newly published study helps to understand how different types of enrichment activities influenced their behaviour in the Americas area, where these birds live at Zoomarine. The researchers tested how altering water levels (mimicking tidal changes), providing new foods, playing bird calls, or adding interactive devices in the habitat of the scarlet ibis positively conditioned the behaviour of these birds. They found that some enrichments, especially altering water levels and adding certain interactive devices, promoted greater activity and exploration by these birds.

Studies like this one allow Zoomarine and other zoological spaces to learn which enrichments work best, continually creating better habitats and zoological management routines for the animals in their care.

Read study at “The Effects of Enrichment on Zoo-Housed Scarlet Ibis Behavior”


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