NPRC Behavioral Management Resources

Documentation of introduction procedures and defining outcomes of introductions of pairs or small groups of caged NHPs
Detailed documentation of individual introductions is crucial for refining social introduction methodology. The purpose for the BMC’s documentation template is to promote the standardization of information obtained when introductions are conducted. Key to the utility of standardized records is a common definition of introduction success. We aim to assist facilities in developing records that will enable them to perform systematic in-house retrospective assessments. In addition, standardized records can be combined across facilities to form databases for cross-facility analyses. The complexity of various introduction processes (Truelove et al. 2015; Baker, 2016), as well as the individual differences of the animals and practices involved, are best addressed using data collected across facilities in order to exploit the differences in practices. The database will improve our understanding of social introductions and enable us to take multifactorial approaches to analysis.

Alopecia scoring
The BMC alopecia scoring system is a straightforward method of evaluating the degree of alopecia on nonhuman primates.

Abnormal behavior ethogram
Abnormal behavior in captive nonhuman primates is often used as an indicator of wellbeing, either past or present. Improved understanding of these behaviors will better enable their prevention and treatment. Because some of these behaviors are rare, pooling information across facilities is extremely valuable for determining its prevalence, risk factors, causes, and treatment. A standardized ethogram that can be utilized across facilities is therefore necessary in order to facilitate collaborative research.

Self-injury scoring
The self-injurious behavior (SIB) scoring system is a method for categorizing bouts of SIB. Because SIB is uncommon, pooling information across facilities in a consistent manner is extremely valuable for determining its prevalence, risk factors, causes, and treatment. This scoring system is a 5-point scale with two categories for non-injurious incidents and three for wounding events. The latter categories are based on the severity of the wound (i.e., mild, moderate, severe).

Factors leading to use of single housing
There are a handful of regulatory exemptions and exceptions from the use of social housing. As detailed in the Animal Welfare Act, single housing is permissible only when an animal is deemed overly aggressive, is debilitated, has or is suspected of having a contagious disease, or is exempted because of health condition or scientific requirements approved by the local Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (USDA 2013, p. 100-101). In practice, here are numerous other situations, often transient, that could lead to single housing, including lack of compatible partners and need for information about viral status. It is important to capture this information because of its regulatory importance and because social housing is a key factor in supporting wellbeing. The identification of factors can guide a facility toward identifying additional opportunities for social housing that can be addressed if practical challenges are identified.

Animal transfer form
Animals may be relocated within the NPRC system and the information on the form permits continuity of care and continued tailoring of behavioral management techniques to the needs of individual animals.

Publications by Behavioral Management Consortium members
There are currently 83 articles published by Behavioral Management Consortium Members since 2011 and available in PubMed. There are also three book chapters written by consortium members since 2011.