PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractMany zoo facilities record weight data for their animals as part of their management protocols. However, there is a lack of evidentiary support in the literature on captive animal management for the use of this data as a health management tool and little discussion on the many ways in which keepers can interpret weight data. Often, animals' weights are considered in the context of their health only when other signs suggest health compromise. While aberrant weight values as secondary signs of illness are useful in confirming health compromise, it is possible that changes in weight can be observed as initial clues to illness. This study explores this possibility but acknowledges the need for an understanding of baseline weight values in order for comparisons to be possible. Furthermore, the study seeks to characterize the baseline weight data for a variety of captive Sonoran Desert animals, so that an individual weight value may be evaluated in the context of the norm for a particular animal species over a span of time. Specifically, animal care staff members at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum expect that weight data may express patterns of seasonality, due to the changes that animals undergo with time of year.
Degree ProgramHonors College