The Unit of Behavioral Management is dedicated to improving nonhuman primate well-being through collaboration with the units of Clinical and Research Medicine and Animal Resources. The Tulane Environmental Enhancement Plan involves a number of strategies that are implemented according to animal needs and research requirements. The Plan is dynamic, permitting modification of techniques in accordance with in-house assessments and the scientific literature. New items are added to the program through an approval system including veterinary staff, animal care supervisory staff, and Behavioral Scientist. Conspecific social contact is the most critical element of the enrichment program, in recognition of the social nature of nonhuman primates.
The socialization program places nonhuman primates into social groupings when compatible with research protocols, and dedicated staff monitors social introductions, ongoing compatibility, and social group dynamics. Other elements of the behavioral management program include nonhuman primate/human positive interaction, feeding enrichment, structural enhancements, manipulable objects, and devices permitting foraging, grooming, problem-solving, and sensory enrichment. Several enrichment techniques are utilized concurrently with each individual nonhuman primate, scaled to the number and intensity of other feasible elements. Daily enrichment is implemented by Animal Care Technicians and Environmental Enrichment personnel.