Mr. Frank Logiudice


The Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens intends to introduce new members to the black-handed spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi geoffroyi) enclosure. The behavioral analysis of captive animals within their human-made zoo environments is pertinent information for zookeepers before such an introduction can be made. To contribute to that goal, this study observed the behaviors of a father-daughter pair of black-handed spider monkeys. This study observed their vocalizations, habitat utilization, enrichment utilization, conspecific interactions, and interactions with humans to better understand how they interact with their environment as well as their group dynamics. This behavioral baseline can then be utilized to assess the pair’s readiness for new members and allow for post-introduction comparisons. The manifestation of these behaviors and the lack of stereotypic behaviors throughout the study suggests high wellbeing and a healthy dynamic between the pair. The introduction of new individuals to the current troop would not be advisable if the pair had shown signs of stress and aggressive conspecific behaviors. As a continued collaborative effort between the University of Central Florida and the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens, this study will allow zookeepers to make informed decisions on the expansion of the spider monkey troop.

About the Author

Felicia Gordian is a recent graduate of the University of Central Florida. She majored in Biology on the Evolution, Ecology, and Conservation track, with a minor in Environmental Studies and a Certificate in Geographic Information systems. During her last semester at UCF, she conducted this research at the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens, observing the behaviors of Big Guy and Zsa-Zsa, the father-daughter pair of Ateles geoffroyi.


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