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The Environmental Husbandry Manual
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Individual Methods for Enclosure Design
Ropes and Branches

The methods outlined in this section relate to features of enclosure construction and layout which may be used to enhance the living conditions of animals, including the use of shelter areas, vegetation, viewing platforms and climbing structures.

Ropes and Branches

Method Must be able to swing freely (ropes) or move (branches) as environment would in the wild. Should use varying texture and thickness so that grips must be altered.
Species Primates, Perching Birds, Snakes, Lizards, Frogs.
Purpose Provide exercise and develop hand-eye co-ordination (primates). Turns enclosure into an unpredictable three-dimensional environment, creating ‘psychological’ space, as entire area is available, not just floor and walls.
Pro Cheap and effective, and easily moved around to change the layout of the enclosure. Promotes greater mobility in a variety of animals.
Con In humid environments, such as Reptile Houses, ropes and dead branches rot more quickly.
Improvements Move or replace branches and ropes on a regular basis for all except reptiles, as animals quickly learn most efficient routes around the enclosure.
Comments Primates should have clear areas for jumping as well as swinging. Large monkeys (for example, Spectacled Langur) don’t do well with thin branches. Lion-tailed Macaques are very destructive, so chains are more practical than ropes for securing cage furniture. Must use branches from non-toxic trees. Should ensure that electrical cables, heating pipes, etc. cannot be reached by climbing ropes.
Frequency of Use Constant.
Ratings Usefulness 10/10/10
Convenience 10/9/10
Value For Money 10/10/10
Range of Users 10/8/10
Contributed By Primate Section / Reptile Section / Bird Section

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