Why does natural home range size predict captive Carnivora welfare?

Bandeli, Miranda
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University of Guelph

Natural ranging behaviours were investigated as risk factors for stereotypic behaviour (SB) and infant mortality (CIM) in captive Carnivora. Data collected via literature searches were added into previously created databases. Species-typical median home range size predicted stereotypic route-tracing, but not total SB or CIM. I then assessed whether any correlates of range size proved better predictors of route-tracing. No correlates statistically eliminated the effect of range size, but two greatly increased the R2 when combined with range size: wide-ranging species that are also not predated and travel a small proportion of their annual distance daily spent the most time route-tracing. Additionally, ranging flexibility proved important: species with large home ranges that also have little variability in their range sizes spent the most time route-tracing. However, since the effect of home range size on route-tracing was not explained by any correlate tested, home range size may be intrinsically important.

captivity, Carnivora, PGLS, route-tracing, pacing