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Naturalistic Versus Unnaturalistic Environments

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Health and Welfare of Captive Reptiles

Abstract

Reptiles are kept in diverse husbandry situations, including zoological collections, private pet or hobby keeping, scientific and laboratory studies, quarantine, and numerous commercial settings such as for livestock, skin, and meat production, and this chapter is relevant to all these areas. In recent years, a major paradigm shift has occurred favouring naturalistic conditions for the health and welfare of captive reptiles. Increasing data and opinion indicate that the physical, ethological, and psychological well-being of animals (including reptiles) is best served in naturalistic conditions. Despite the generally accepted and growing use of naturalistic environments, husbanders could make greater efforts to incorporate spacious, naturalistic environments across all captive reptile situations. Given now wide acceptance that naturalistic environments infer positive benefits over unnaturalistic conditions, husbanders across all captive situations should evaluate their responsibilities with a refreshed sense of obligation towards developing animal housing to reflect the natural environments in which reptiles evolved.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Examples of recent relevant publications: (Mason and Mendl 1993; Bernard et al. 1997; Blake et al. 1998; Hayes et al. 1998; de Vosjoli 1999; Mellen and Sevenich MacPhee 2001; Scott and Warwick 2002; Moore and Jessop 2003; Burghardt 2005, 2013, 2015; Case et al. 2005; Almli and Burghardt 2006; Morgan and Tromberg 2007; Therrien et al. 2007; Manrod et al. 2008; Ferguson et al. 2010; Phillips et al. 2011; Rosier and Langkilde 2011; Leal and Powell 2012; Wilkinson and Huber 2012; Arbuckle 2013; Doody et al. 2013; Kuppert 2013; Warwick et al. 2013a, 2018, 2019; Whitham and Wielebnowski 2013; Mancera et al. 2014, 2017; Martinez-Silvestre 2014; Rose et al. 2014; Mellor and Webster 2014; Wilkinson 2015; Baines et al. 2016; Bashaw et al. 2016; Mellor 2016; Howell and Bennett 2017; Moszuti et al. 2017; Waters et al. 2017; Oonincx and van Leeuwen 2017; Siviter et al. 2017; Mason and Burn 2018; Mendyk 2018; Benn et al. 2019; Lambert et al. 2019; Whitehead 2018; Tetzlaff et al. 2019).

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Warwick, C., Steedman, C. (2023). Naturalistic Versus Unnaturalistic Environments. In: Warwick, C., Arena, P.C., Burghardt, G.M. (eds) Health and Welfare of Captive Reptiles. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-86012-7_15

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