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Boije, Linnéa, 2024. Välfärd hos McCords ormhalssköldpaddor (Chelodina McCordi) och Nya Guineasköldpaddor (Carettochelys insculpta) : hägnanvändning, beteende och gästpåverkan. First cycle, G2E. Uppsala: SLU, Applied Animal Science and Welfare



Conserving animal species is an important part of protecting and conserving ecosystems. To work ex situ with conservation biology is an important part since many wild habitats are no longer available. In an attempt to make animal husbandry more effective and making it possible to conserve additional species, animals that do not have the same endemic origin are placed in the same enclosure. At Nordens Ark, a zoo in Sweden, the Roti Island snake-necked turtle (Chelodina McCordi) and the Pig-nosed turtle (Carettochelys insculpta) are kept together even though they don’t have the same geographical origin. How the two species affect each other and if it affects their welfare is unknown.
The aim of the study was to see if the presence of the other species affects the turtles’ behaviour, enclosure usage and if interactions between the Roti Island snake-necked turtle and the Pig-nosed turtle occurrence. The study also investigated if visitors influence the behaviour and enclosure usage of the two species. The method used in the study was direct observations with scan sampling. Behaviour was registered after an ethogram adapted to freshwater turtles and the enclosure was divided into zones to register enclosure usage. For every registration guest attendance was noted.
The behaviour most performed by the Roti Island snake-necked turtle was ‘swimming’ while ‘interaction’ was the least performed. The snake-necked turtle interacted more with its own species than with the Pig-nosed turtle. The most exploited zone was above surface. For the Pig-nosed turtle the most frequent behaviour was ‘withdrawn’ and interactions with its own species and the snake-necked turtle were performed the same number of occasions. The Pig-nosed turtle utilised two zones along the bottom of the enclosure during the majority of all registrations. The study also showed that visitor attendance influenced the turtles’ behaviour, making the Roti Island snake-necked turtle swim in the zones along the window and the Pig-nosed turtle withdraw themselves and using zones on the bottom that provided some kind of hiding opportunity.
In summary, both species showed behaviours that indicate stress and their enclosure usage could be interpreted as sharing the enclosure is not suitable and that there might be some competition for spatial resources. During visitor attendance the Roti Island snake-necked turtles performed pacing, a stereotypic behaviour where the turtle swims back and forth along an enclosure boundary. Further studies are needed to make it possible to find factors that induces stress in turtles or if it is a combination of multiple factors that are stressful. Additional studies on the behaviour of freshwater turtles are also necessary to improve the understanding of their natural needs.

Main title:Välfärd hos McCords ormhalssköldpaddor (Chelodina McCordi) och Nya Guineasköldpaddor (Carettochelys insculpta)
Subtitle:hägnanvändning, beteende och gästpåverkan
Authors:Boije, Linnéa
Supervisor:Lundin, Lisa
Examiner:Anderson, Claes
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2024
Level and depth descriptor:First cycle, G2E
Student's programme affiliation:VK007 Etologi och djurskydd (kandidat) 180,0 hp
Supervising department:(VH) > Applied Animal Science and Welfare
Keywords:sötvattensköldpaddsvälfärd, bevarande, hägnanvändning, beteende, interaktioner
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Deposited On:03 Jul 2024 10:54
Metadata Last Modified:05 Jul 2024 01:15

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