Applied Behavior Analysis and the Zoo: Forthman and Ogden (1992) Thirty Years Later

The field of applied behavior analysis has been directly involved in both research and applications of behavioral principles to improve the lives of captive zoo animals. Thirty years ago, Forthman and Ogden (1992) wrote one of the first papers documenting some of these efforts. Since that time, considerable work has been done using behavioral principles and procedures to guide zoo welfare efforts. The current paper re-examines and updates Forthman and Ogden’s original points, with attention to the five categories they detailed: (1) promotion of species-typical behavior, (2) reintroduction and repatriation of endangered species, (3) animal handling, (4) pest control, and (5) animal performances. In addition, we outline three current and future directions for behavior analytic endeavors: (i) experimental analyses of behavior and the zoo, (ii) applied behavior analysis and the zoo, and (iii) within-subject methodology and the zoo. The goal is to provide a framework that can guide future behavioral research in zoos, as well as create applications based on these empirical evaluations.

Publish DateFebruary 23, 2023
Last UpdatedFebruary 23, 2023