Behavioural differences between two captive populations of red junglefowl (Gallus gallus) with different genetic background, raised under identical conditions
2007 (English)In: Applied Animal Behaviour Science, ISSN 0168-1591, Vol. 102, no 1-2, 24-38 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Ex situ conservation of threatened species may lead to behavioural adaptation, which can affect success of reintroduction attempts. In previous studies, we investigated the effects of captivity on the behaviour of red jungle fowl (Gallus gallus) and found that captive populations differed behaviourally as well as genetically. The aim of the present study was to compare the behaviour of two of the previously studied populations, raised under identical conditions. Eggs were collected from birds at Copenhagen zoo (Cop) and Götala research station (Got) and were incubated and hatched together. Twenty-eight birds (16 Got and 12 Cop) were reared together and tested in eight different behavioural tests, measuring different aspects of fear-related behaviours as well as exploratory and social behaviours. The study revealed several differences in fear-related behaviours between the populations but none in exploratory or social behaviours. In general, one of the populations (Cop) showed more intense fear behaviours than the other (Got), which instead were less fearful in their behaviours. This indicates that breeding animals in captivity may lead to behavioural modifications, which can affect the outcome of reintroductions. The results further suggest that fear-related behaviours are dependent on the genetic background of the animals while social behaviours may be more influenced by the social environment. Since fear-related behaviours, such as predator avoidance and fear of humans, are essential for a life in the wild, these aspects are crucial for the breeding of animals in captivity for conservation purposes.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 102, no 1-2, 24-38 p.
Behaviour, Captive breeding, Conservation, Gallus gallus, Red jungle fowl
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-12650DOI: 10.1016/j.applanim.2006.03.013OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-12650DiVA: diva2:16778