This research application is in response to the Program Announcement """"""""National Chimpanzee Breeding and Research Program"""""""", and is a companion to the proposals for breeding programs from The University of Texas Cancer Center Science Park-Department of Veterinary Resources, The Primate Foundation of Arizona, and the Primate Research Institute. These three institutions, along with White Sands Research Center, have formed a research consortium that will evaluate data on over 300 chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) . The long-term objective of the program is to improve the care and management of captive chimpanzees. The planned research will identify factors influencing the production of successful breeders from captive-born animals, seek improvements in husbandry, and determine methods which will allow more precise predictions of and promote productivity from captive populations. The proposed studies are both observational and archival and will require cooperation among all institutions to develop comparable methods of data collection and record keeping. By carefully documenting the ontogeny of social, sexual and abnormal behavior of infants with their mothers, with other companions in various rearing paradigms, and before and after periods of time as biomedical research subjects, it will be possible to determine the range of rearing conditions that will produce behaviorally adequate adults. Predictors of adult behavioral competence will be derived from juvenile behavioral evaluations to allow early assignment of animals to research programs, replacement breeder pool, or interventional programs to improve their chances to breed. Studies will measure the effect of enclosure design, bedding type and visual stimulation on chimpanzee well-being. A possible negative impact of extensive familiarity on reproductive activity will be evaluated. Studies of colony records will provide data on factors influencing reproductive success and postpartum infertility. A chemical intervention to treat extended postpartum infertility will be evaluated. This information will improve the ability to predict and improve colony productivity. As a corollary to these behavioral projects, several studies of health maintenance detailing physical growth, development and aging will identify the range of normal variation in captive chimpanzees against which individuals suspected of being deviant may be judged. Studies conducted within this consortium are objective, quantitative evaluations of methods to improve the care and production of captive chimpanzees that are relevant to developing valid regulation of chimpanzee well-being.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
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Animal Resources Review Committee (AR)
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University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
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United States
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Schapiro, Steven J; Bloomsmith, Mollie A; Laule, Gail E (2003) Positive reinforcement training as a technique to alter nonhuman primate behavior: quantitative assessments of effectiveness. J Appl Anim Welf Sci 6:175-87
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Lambeth, S P; Bloomsmith, M A (1992) Mirrors as enrichment for captive chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Lab Anim Sci 42:261-6