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Appears in Collections:Psychology eTheses
Title: Personality and wellbeing in gorillas: captive-wild comparisons and implications for zoos
Author(s): Pohlner, Yvonne
Supervisor(s): Buchanan-Smith, Hannah
Andrews, Clare
Keywords: personality
subjective wellbeing
One Plan Approach
Issue Date: 21-Oct-2023
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: The One Plan Approach integrates in situ and ex situ strategies for wildlife conservation, emphasizing biodiversity preservation through cross-sector collaboration. Zoos are crucial in this approach, engaging in activities such as ex situ breeding and translocation programs, thus contributing to the conservation of endangered species and promoting individual animal welfare. Understanding personality in animals can significantly enhance these conservation and welfare efforts. This study investigates the personality of Western lowland gorillas (WLGs) using the Hominoid Personality Questionnaire (HPQ) across both ex situ (eWLGs) and in situ (iWLGs) populations. Data were collected from 203 eWLGs (678 ratings, 94 raters, 30 zoos) and 198 iWLGs (501 ratings, 25 raters, 5 African field sites). Key findings reveal distinct personality structures: eWLGs exhibited six factors (Dominance, Openness, Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, Neuroticism, Extraversion) while iWLGs displayed four (Neuroticism, Sociability, Dominance, Self-Control/Tolerance). Demographic variables such as sex and age influenced personality differences in both populations. Comparative analysis with previously published data on Virunga mountain gorillas (iVMGs) highlights the impact of socio-ecological factors like habitat, diet, social structure, and life history on personality development. These differences demonstrate the complex interaction between environmental dynamics, adaptability, and the evolution of personality. Additionally, personality is linked to subjective wellbeing (SWB) and social engagement in gorillas. SWB ratings were analysed for 189 eWLGs (607 ratings, 84 raters, 30 zoos) and 189 iWLGs (499 ratings, 25 raters, 5 field sites), with validation through observed behaviour in 124 iWLGs. Strong correlations between SWB, mood, emotions, and personality factors were found in a subset of 24 eWLGs. The integration of positive welfare and SWB concepts with personality insights offers a novel perspective within the One Plan Approach. This research advocates for a holistic One Welfare Plan to optimize conservation, management, and wellbeing of gorillas, enhancing their overall welfare by fostering positive emotions and social interactions.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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