Frank Logiudice


Fossas (Cryptoprocta ferox) are the top, endemic predators of Madagascar. Their populations are dwindling and are reported as “Vulnerable” by IUCN. In an effort to combat this, zoological facilities have placed the species on a captive breeding program. This study focuses on concerns one of those zoos had about their captive C. ferox. The purpose of this study was to collect activity budgets on the C. ferox to determine if there is a change in behavior due to construction occurring around the C. ferox’s habitat, analyze behavior changes during estrus, determine any behavior changes, as well as addressing other concerns staff members of the zoo had. Some of those concerns included how often stereotypic behaviors were displayed and how much time C. ferox spent observing the male C. ferox next to her habitat. All visible behaviors were recorded and analyzed by finding frequencies of the observed behaviors, while comparing those to time periods where there was a presence or absence of construction and estrus.This study’s findings showed that the subject did display behavior changes during estrus and did not display any major behavior changes in response to a presence of construction occurring. Since all activity budgets were collected, this study analyzed other factors including usage of enrichment and stereotypic behaviors.This study showcases the variety of behaviors a female C. ferox may exhibit in ex-situ conditions while also providing proposals to discourage unwanted behaviors and enhance animal welfare.

About the Author

Emilie Alfonso earned her Bachelor’s in Science studying Biology at University of Central Florida. While earning her undergraduate degree she conducted an independent study on the behavioral analysis of a ex-situ Cryptoprocta ferox, co-authored two other studies in biology education, assisted in research projects in a biology lab, and was Vice President of a wildlife conservation club at UCF. She continues to work in the Animal, Science and Environment department at Disney and is now earning her Master’s in Science studying Organizational Leadership. She is utilizing her experiences in her bachelor’s degree to continue to grow her career in the zoo conservation field.



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