Environmental enrichment in the 21st century

Kristine Coleman, Melinda A. Novak

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    31 Scopus citations


    More than a quarter of a century has elapsed since the Animal Welfare Act mandated that research facilities develop and follow a plan to promote the psychological well-being of captive primates. Since passage of this law, considerable effort and resources have been directed to designing environmental enrichment strategies in an effort to improve animal welfare. These plans typically consist of environmental enrichment and socialization efforts. While environmental enhancement has undergone a great deal of improvement in the past 25 years, it should be viewed as a continual work in progress, which takes advantage of emergent and future technologies. In this review, we discuss the objectives of the environmental enhancement plan along with relevant outcome measures, as well as ongoing challenges, costs, and benefits. We then review various enrichment strategies and assess their efficacy in meeting goals and objectives. Finally, we look forward to consider what the future might hold for environmental enrichment of nonhuman primates used in research.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)295-307
    Number of pages13
    JournalILAR Journal
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Dec 1 2017


    • Animal welfare
    • Nonhuman primate
    • Psychological well-being
    • Social housing

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Animal Science and Zoology
    • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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