A global survey of banteng (Bos javanicus) housing and husbandry
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Wiley via the DOI in this record.
Reason for embargo
Banteng (Bos javanicus) are an example of a species of conservation concern without current “best practice” guidance, as they have been the focus of little applied husbandry research. Despite their elevated conservation status, and established, increasing global captive population, zoos do not yet have information on optimal husbandry. To help address this problem, a husbandry survey was distributed to all global holders of banteng. Questions focused on herd demographic structure, exhibit features (including mixed-species exhibition), dietary provision, and behavioral management. Completed surveys from 16 zoos enabled analysis of contemporary practice between institutions. Results indicate differences in enclosure size between zoos, and that herd size is unlikely to predict enclosure size. Herd sizes are smaller than wild examples, and enclosure space (per animal) is significantly smaller than a potential wild range. Banteng are frequently maintained successfully in mixed species exhibits alongside a wide range of other taxa. Nutrient analysis focused on fiber and protein, and although provision of these nutrients appears comparable between zoos, more work is needed on browse and forage intake to determine overall diet suitability. Behavior management shows variation between zoos, with numerous collections providing browse but only a minority undertaking training, and not all providing enrichment. The overall diversity in findings between zoos suggest future research areas that should focus on key aspects of behavioral ecology, such as wild foraging behavior, food plant selection and day/night activity patterns, which may help underpin husbandry guidelines and excellent animal welfare.
Published as Early View, awaiting citation
- Psychology