Zoo Boise White-Handed Gibbon's Activity as a Function of Age and Sex

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date

April 2016

Faculty Sponsor

Cynthia Bradbury


The purpose of this research is to evaluate the quality of environment for white-handed gibbons (Hylobates lar) of differing ages and sexes living in captivity. Activity budgets, based on direct observations, provide an evaluation method of the environmental effects on gibbon behavior. Zoo Boise houses three white-handed gibbons, a bonded pair (male ~ 40 years and female 27 years) and their daughter (8 years and 10 months). These gibbon ages span the life expectancy of this species in captivity making them a great sample. Zoo Boise’s mated adults are significantly less active than their daughter. Activity budget comparisons are made with captive gibbons at other zoos having males and females of ages similar to the mated Zoo Boise pair to evaluate the effects of age and sex. Captive and wild activity budget comparisons suggest the most significant difference between the populations is locomotion since the captive primates do not have to search for food.

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