PUBLICATIONS

THE EFFICACY OF TRANSLOCATION FOR CONSERVATION IN AFRICAN LARGE AND MEGAHERBIVORES: A REVIEW
HASHMI, A., PREZIOSI, R., CAIN, B. & JONES, M. (2021)

Translocation is an oft-used technique in conservation, and one of the most invasive. Defined as 'the human mediated movement of organisms from one area, with release in another' (IUCN/SSC, 2013), translocation has been used for decades to satisfy different aims, from recreational hunting to resolving human-wildlife conflict (Griffith et al., 1989; Fischer and Lindenmeyer, 2000). Successful conservation translocations can mean the establishment of healthy, self-sustaining populations, important for the preservation and recovery of endangered species and for the human populations that rely upon them. Translocations take place on an international, intracontinental or global scale, with a variety of participants from non-governmental organisations to zoological institutions. Yet judging success of such operations from published literature can be a complex task, especially with no agreed criteria for success (Fischer and Lindenmeyer, 2000). This is important, especially in the case of charismatic species in which the public are invested. These charismatic taxa include African large and megaherbivores, such as elephants and rhinoceroses. In this study, we investigated the efficacy of translocation as a conservation strategy for African large and megaherbivores, the representation of different species in translocation studies and events, and factors influencing their representation in conservation literature.

13th Manchester Metropolitan PGR Conference

THE VISITOR EFFECT IN ZOO-HOUSED APES: THE VARIABLE EFFECT ON BEHAVIOUR OF VISITOR NUMBER AND NOISE
HASHMI, A. & SULLIVAN, M. (2020)

Human visitors have the potential to impact heavily upon the welfare of zoo-housed animals, and the study of the effect has become an established research area in the modern zoo. This effect can be caused not just through the presence of visitors, but also through their behaviour. This study sought to test the hypothesis that visitor number and the associated noise level significantly affected the behaviour of three zoo-housed primate species. This was studied through behavioural observations and measurements of visitor number and noise levels around enclosures, as primate species are particularly sensitive to large, noisy crowds of zoo visitors. Changes in behaviour relating to visitor number and noise levels were investigated on a species and individual level. Noise levels had a significant positive relationship with visitor number, and both factors had significant positive and negative effects on stereotypic, locomotory, inactive and feeding behaviours on an individual and species level. However, levels of individuals sitting with their back to the window was unaffected by visitor number or noise. Individual and species differences were seen in reactions to the visiting public, emphasising the complex nature of the study of the visitor effect. The increase in stereotyping and clinging behaviours, and decrease in inactivity suggest a potential negative influence on the welfare of these primates. The mixed results reinforce the notion that the visitor effect is moderated and influenced by many factors, such as husbandry and personality. The current study highlights the need for off show areas for captive primates, and the importance of considering individual differences when attempting mitigation of unwanted behaviours.

Journal of Zoo and Aquarium Research

doi: 10.19227/jzar.v8i4.523

THE VARIABLE EFFECT OF VISITOR NUMBER AND NOISE LEVELS ON BEHAVIOUR IN THREE ZOO-HOUSED PRIMATE SPECIES
HASHMI, A., SULLIVAN, M., MAZZOLA, S.M. & QUINTAVALLE PASTORINO, G. (2019)

Visitors may impact on the welfare of zoo-housed animals, and this has become an established research area in the modern zoo, with diverse results, particularly in primates. This study aimed to further the current literature and tested the hypothesis that visitor number and noise levels significantly affected the behaviour of three ape species housed at Blackpool Zoo, UK, chosen to compare reactions across apes: Western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla; 3 male, 3 female), Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus; 1 male, 4 female) and pileated gibbon (Hylobates pileatus; 2 male, 2 female). This was studied through 10-minute focal observations and measurements of visitor numbers and noise levels around the enclosure. Observations were conducted twice per week from April-August 2018 between 10:00-16:00, with three observations per individual per session, species observed on a rotating basis and order of individuals chosen with a random number generator, creating data across quiet and busy times of day and season. Changes in behaviour were analysed on species and individual levels, using RStudio version 1.1. Noise levels had a significant positive correlation with visitor number (r^2=0.27, p<0.001) and both factors had significant positive or negative associations with named behaviours: known stress indicators or evidentiary of a visitor effect in previous studies. Inactivity showed negative correlation with visitor number as expected (gorillas: estimate=-0.028, z-value=-3.089, p<0.001; orangutans: estimate=-0.025, z-value=-2.902, p<0.001) but no significant effect of noise was found. Stereotypic behaviour was unexpectedly not significantly associated with visitor number or noise levels in gorillas but was in orangutans: positive association was seen with visitor number, negative with visitor noise. Different visitor avoidance behaviours also showed varying results: levels of individuals sitting with their back to the window was not correlated with visitor number or noise (p>0.05), but the orangutang-specific behaviour of using substrate or sacks to cover the head displayed a significant negative correlation with noise level (estimate=-0.027, z-value=-1.976, p<0.05). There was a corresponding rise in the visitor attention behaviour with rising noise levels (estimate=0.040, z-value=2.807, p<0.01), displaying an increase in human-directed vigilance behaviour in response to increased noise levels. Individual and species differences were seen in this study, emphasising the complexities of personality and studying the visitor effect. Increases in stereotyping and clinging, and decreases in inactivity suggest a potential negative effect on the welfare of these apes. The mixed results reinforce that the visitor effect is influenced by many factors, such as husbandry and personality. This study highlights the need for off show areas for captive apes, and the importance of considering individual differences when attempting mitigation of unwanted behaviours.

Proceedings of the 53rd Congress of the International Society for Applied Ethology

 

GRANTS AWARDED

SAWTOOTH SOFTWARE ACADEMIC GRANT

January 2021

Kindly awarded by Sawtooth Software, this grant has given me access to the full Lighthouse Studio software, to support my work investigating attitudes towards conservation translocation.

GENETICS SOCIETY HEREDITY FIELDWORK GRANT

November 2020

This grant, awarded by the Genetics Society, will be used to fund a research trip to Kenya to collect faecal samples from in situ individuals of my candidate species.

MANCHESTER METROPOLITAN UNIVERSITY RESEARCH SUPPORT AWARD

June 2020

I was awarded £500 by the Manchester Metropolitan University Research Support Award to buy materials and supplies that would enable the collection of faecal samples from UK zoos via postal services, in line with COVID restrictions.