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1. Troxell-Smith, Sandra M. Welfare Assessment Through Foraging: Understanding the Animals' Points of View.

Degree: 2016, University of Illinois – Chicago

As a behavioral ecologist, I implement studies based in foraging theory and ecology to develop a quantifiable metric to understand animal environmental preferences, and how those preferences influence animal decision-making. I utilized this approach in laboratory, zoo, and wild species, and each of my five dissertation chapters investigates a novel application and integration of foraging ecology and animal behavior. Chapter I: I utilized foraging ecology principles to determine effects of domestication on the problem-solving and foraging strategies of laboratory vs. wild-caught house mice (Mus musculus). Domesticated laboratory strains adopted more energy-efficient foraging strategies, and responded more favorably to foraging challenges than their wild counterparts (Troxell-Smith et. al, 2016). This study advanced existing literature regarding how the domestication process influences problem-solving and resource acquisition in laboratory species. Chapter II: I assessed the environmental preferences of zoo-housed okapi (Okapia johnstoni). Based on intensity of foraging in experimental patches, I found that individuals greatly varied their response to, and utilization of, the same exhibit space. I conclude that individual behavioral differences in environmental preference must be incorporated into animal management and welfare decisions. Chapter III: I implemented foraging patch studies to: a) quantify the efficacy of patch use studies as an enrichment opportunity, and b) determine the spatial and foraging preferences for zoo-housed Parma wallabies (Macropus parma), and Patagonian maras (Dolichotis patagonum). Food patches reliably revealed environmental preferences, increased foraging time, and decreased the frequency of inactive behaviors for both species, demonstrating the utility of implementing the food patch technique as a method to assess captive animal welfare. Chapter IV: I examined the effects of implementing social separation (visual barriers) on stereotypic behavior in an adult female okapi (Troxell-Smith & Miller, 2016). Visual barrier installation drastically reduced okapi stereotypic behavior, suggesting that captive social situations have important impacts on animal welfare. Chapter V: I established personality metrics for ten individual brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) in the Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park, NSW, Australia. Possums were released and monitored to determine individual differences in food quality preference and response to environmental risk. This work advances understanding of how individual personality traits influence environmental and ecological choices. Advisors/Committee Members: Brown, Joel S. (advisor), Whelan, Christopher J. (committee member), Leonard, John (committee member), Schmidt, Jennifer (committee member), Nelson, Karin (committee member), Watters, Jason V. (committee member).

Subjects/Keywords: Behavioral Ecology; Animal Welfare; Foraging Ecology; Giving-up Density; Behavioral Enrichment; Zoo-housed species; Exhibit use; Landscape of comfort

…preferences and decision-making in laboratory, zoo, and wild species. Chapter I describes my journey… …x29; determine the spatial and foraging preferences for zoo-housed Parma wallabies (… …D. Zoo foraging ecology: okapi, cavies, and wallabies ….. 1. Foraging ecology as a… …OF TWO OKAPI (OKAPIA JOHNSTONI) AT THE BROOKFIELD ZOO ... A. Abstract… …CITED LITERATURE .. 70 ZOO FORAGING ECOLOGY- DEVELOPMENT AND ASSESSMENT OF… 

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APA · Chicago · MLA · Vancouver · CSE | Export to Zotero / EndNote / Reference Manager

APA (6th Edition):

Troxell-Smith, S. M. (2016). Welfare Assessment Through Foraging: Understanding the Animals' Points of View. (Thesis). University of Illinois – Chicago. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10027/21246

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Troxell-Smith, Sandra M. “Welfare Assessment Through Foraging: Understanding the Animals' Points of View.” 2016. Thesis, University of Illinois – Chicago. Accessed April 18, 2021. http://hdl.handle.net/10027/21246.

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Troxell-Smith, Sandra M. “Welfare Assessment Through Foraging: Understanding the Animals' Points of View.” 2016. Web. 18 Apr 2021.

Vancouver:

Troxell-Smith SM. Welfare Assessment Through Foraging: Understanding the Animals' Points of View. [Internet] [Thesis]. University of Illinois – Chicago; 2016. [cited 2021 Apr 18]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/10027/21246.

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

Council of Science Editors:

Troxell-Smith SM. Welfare Assessment Through Foraging: Understanding the Animals' Points of View. [Thesis]. University of Illinois – Chicago; 2016. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/10027/21246

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

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