Behavioural instability as an indicator of personality within captive populations of Rothschild Giraffes

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  • A.K.L. Berthelsen, Aalborg Universitet, Danmark
  • B.B. Kjelgaard, Aalborg Universitet, Danmark
  • K. Møller-Lassesen, Aalborg Universitet, Danmark
  • N. Larsen, Aalborg Universitet, Danmark
  • P. Urup, Aalborg Universitet, Danmark
  • S. Ellegård-Jensen, Aalborg Universitet, Danmark
  • T.H. Jensen, Aalborg Zoo, Danmark
  • Cino Pertoldi, Aalborg Universitet, Aalborg Zoo, Danmark
  • Aage Kristian Olsen Alstrup
  • Sussie Pagh, Aalborg Universitet
Using the novel concept of behavioural instability in order to determine if distinct personalities are present within captive populations of Rothschild giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi) is a hitherto unprecedented undertaking. This study aims to prove the presence of recognizable personalities, as well as to investigate whether visitor numbers affect the behavioural expressions of these personalities. Attaining statistically supported proof of individual personality would indicate a high level of behavioural diversity, which is a crucial feature of captive populations intended to potentially repopulate wild habitats. Attaining this proof was accomplished by filming the six individuals in Aalborg Zoo, and subsequently analysing the recordings. The procured data was then analysed using a series of tests primarily focusing on behavioural reaction norms. The results gathered have displayed statistical significance confirming the proposition that distinct personalities exist within groups of Rothschild giraffes. However, the number of visitors exhibited no statistical significance upon the behaviour of the individuals. It can thereby be concluded that specimens of Rothschild giraffes possess unique personality traits which are worth defining in order to ensure behavioural diversity.
TidsskriftGenetics and Biodiversity Journal
Sider (fra-til)159-213
StatusUdgivet - jan. 2021

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