chapter  5
23 Pages

Research in a Breeding Colony

WithIrwin S. Bernstein

This chapter compares the breeding records of a research colony, subjected to moderate manipulation and frequent handling, with breeding record of a similar-sized colony maintained under much the same conditions, but dedicated almost exclusively to breeding. The costs and benefits of doing research in a breeding colony are not immediately obvious and one might expect to turn to controlled experimentation to assess the impact of research participation on breeding. Both research and breeding colonies were divided into groups of up to 90 animals and were maintained in outdoor enclosures with attached indoor quarters. Mortality in a wild population may be difficult to distinguish from emigration if an animal simply disappears. Investigators have to deal with animals already on hand and those which are readily available. Of course, if one is establishing a breeding colony, adult animals are required; the long developmental periods typical of primates would make a colony established with infants prohibitively expensive before any productivity could be expected.