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Author Fuller, G. (ed)
Title The Night Shift: Lighting and Nocturnal Strepsirrhine Care in Zoos Type Book Whole
Year 2013 Publication Abbreviated Journal
Volume Issue Pages
Keywords zoos; light at night; circadian disruption; strepsirrhines; primates; lorises; pottos; lighting design
Abstract Over billions of years of evolution, light from the sun, moon, and stars has provided

organisms with reliable information about the passage of time. Photic cues entrain

the circadian system, allowing animals to perform behaviors critical for survival and

reproduction at optimal times. Modern artificial lighting has drastically altered

environmental light cues. Evidence is accumulating that exposure to light at night

(particularly blue wavelengths) from computer screens, urban light pollution, or as

an occupational hazard of night-shift work has major implications for human health.

Nocturnal animals are the shift workers of zoos; they are generally housed on

reversed light cycles so that daytime visitors can observe their active behaviors. As a

result, they are exposed to artificial light throughout their subjective night. The goal

of this investigation was to examine critically the care of nocturnal strepsirrhine

primates in North American zoos, focusing on lorises (Loris and Nycticebus spp.) and pottos (Perodicticus potto). The general hypothesis was that exhibit lighting design affects activity patterns and circadian physiology in nocturnal strepsirrhines. The

first specific aim was to assess the status of these populations. A multi-institutional husbandry survey revealed little consensus among zoos in lighting design, with both red and blue light commonly used for nocturnal illumination. A review of medical records also revealed high rates of neonate mortality. The second aim was to

develop methods for measuring the effects of exhibit lighting on behavior and

health. The use of actigraphy for automated activity monitoring was explored.

Methods were also developed for measuring salivary melatonin and cortisol as

indicators of circadian disruption. Finally, a multi-institutional study was conducted

comparing behavioral and endocrine responses to red and blue dark phase lighting.

These results showed greater activity levels in strepsirrhines housed under red light than blue. Salivary melatonin concentrations in pottos suggested that blue light

suppressed nocturnal melatonin production at higher intensities, but evidence for

circadian disruption was equivocal. These results add to the growing body of

evidence on the detrimental effects of blue light at night and are a step towards

empirical recommendations for nocturnal lighting design in zoos.
Address Department of Biology, Case Western Reserve University
Corporate Author Thesis Ph.D. thesis
Publisher Place of Publication Editor Fuller, G.
Language Summary Language Original Title
Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title
Series Volume Series Issue Edition
Area Expedition Conference
Notes Approved no
Call Number IDA @ john @ Serial 327
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