Zoo Animal Learning and Training
De: Vicky A. Melfi, Nicole Dorey
De: Vicky A. Melfi, Nicole Dorey
Comprehensively explains animal learning theories and current best practices in animal training within zoos
This accessible, up-to-date book on animal training in a zoo/aquaria context provides a unified approach to zoo animal learning, bringing together the art and science of animal training. Written by experts in academia and working zoos, it incorporates the latest information from the scientific community along with current best practice, demystifying the complexities of training zoo animals. In doing so, it teaches readers how to effectively train animals and to fully understand the consequences of their actions.
Zoo Animal Learning and Training starts with an overview of animal learning theory. It describes the main categories of animal learning styles; considers the diverse natural history of zoo animals; reviews the research undertaken which demonstrates ultimate benefits of learning; and highlights the advantages and disadvantages of the different approaches. It also shows how the direct application of learning theory can be integrated into zoo animal management; discusses how other factors might affect development; and investigates situations and activities from which animals learn. It also explores the theoretical basis that determines whether enrichments are successful.
Zoo Animal Learning and Training is an important book for students, academics and professionals. Suited to senior undergraduate students in zoo biology, veterinary science, and psychology, and for post-graduate students in animal management, behaviour and conservation, as well as zoo biology. It is also beneficial to those working professionally in zoos and aquaria at different levels.
List of boxes
Notes on contributors
A: Introduction: Demystify
Chapter 1: A rough guide to learning theory
Chapter 2: The cognitive abilities of wild animals
Chapter 3: The ultimate benefits of learning
Kathy Baker & Vicky Melfi
Chapter 4: Choosing the right method (reinforcement Vs punishment)
Consideration of what modalities animals use to communicate with one another; as training programmes are based on good communication between the zoo professional and animal they are working with.
Visual (Andrew Smith); Auditory (Erik Miller Klein); Olfactory (Neil Jordan)
B: Types of learning in the zoo
Chapter 5: What’s to learn in a zoo
Chapter 6: Learning from Environmental enrichment
Robert J. Young, Cristiano Schetini de Azevedo & Cynthia Fernandes Cipreste
Chapter 7: The art of ‘active’ training
Chapter 8: Integrating training into husbandry
Chapter 9: Us and them: Human-animal interactions as learning events
Geoff Hosey & Vicky Melfi
Taxa specific boxes
Consideration of species specific differences in cognitive ability are explored in academic boxes and the considerations necessary to practically implement training with different species explored in professional boxes below.
Elephant - Professional in the zoo (Greg Vicino), in the wild (Khyne U Mar) and academic (Sarah L. Jacobson and Joshua M. Plotnik)
Marine mammal – Professional (Sabrina Brando); Academic (Gordon Bauer)
Primates - Professional (Jim Mackie); Academic (Betsy Herrelko)
Reptile - Professional (Richard Gibson); Academic (Gordon Burghardt)
Bird - Professional (Heidi Hellmuth); Academic (Jackie Chappell)
Fish – Professional (Heather Williams); Academic (Culum Brown)
C: More than A to B
Samantha J. Ward
Chapter 10: Making training educational for zoo visitors
Katherine Whitehouse-Tedd, Sarah Spooner & Gerard Whitehouse-Tedd
Chapter 11: Welfare implications of zoo animal training
Vicky Melfi & Samantha J. Ward
Chapter 12: Training animals in the wild or so they can return to the wild
Chapter 13: Last but in fact most importantly…Health and safety
Bigger training consideration boxes
For some of the topics we felt it might be helpful to provide a box outside to the general text to consider some bigger concepts in animal training. These include ‘training multiple animals’ by Kirstin Anderson-Henson and a concluding positive note on including training within zoo animal management programmes by Gary Priest.
Vicky Melfi, PhD, is Professor at Hartpury University, Research Associate at the University of Sydney, and Managing Editor of the Journal of Zoo and Aquaria Research, published by the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA).
Nicole R. Dorey, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Florida, a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB) and has actively served as a board member for a number of professional organizations. She also conducts and consults on research and training at zoos.
Samantha J. Ward, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer in Animal Science at Nottingham Trent University, and is currently on the BIAZA research committee and also sits as the welfare expert on Defra’s Zoo Executive Committee.