aimed at identifying indexes of well-being and determining which manifestations of atypical behavior indicate a lack of psychological well-being.
Although considerable information is available on the natural history of some primate species, we do not yet know how to incorporate aspects of natural history into a practical, sensitive, and valid program of colony management that serves the dual interests of primate well-being and the research enterprise. We should avoid the conclusions derived from nature films that every animal's natural environment is either idyllic and peaceful or dominated only by bouts of hunting, wounding, and starvation. Rather, we should investigate animals' environments to identify characteristics relevant to well-being in captive animals. For example, how do the stressors encountered in captivity compare with those encountered in a given animal's natural environment in source, frequency, intensity, or duration?
A number of natural history variables seem to bear on the psychological well-being of captive primates, including arboreal and terrestrial activities, social organizational patterns and occasions for groups to form and disperse, dependence on long-term social affiliations or bonds, dietary needs and food-getting behaviors, preferred temperature norms and ranges, mating and infant-care patterns, natural communication modes, and modes of locomotion and movement. Further research is needed to determine the relative importance of those factors for different species of primates maintained in captivity. It should not be our goal to duplicate natural environments with all the hardships sometimes suffered by wild animals, but rather to identify favored activities, preferred patterns, and the general rhythms in life that organize behavior.
Research has already demonstrated that several species of monkeys and apes do not develop normally when reared under conditions of social deprivation (Fritz and Howell 1993a; Mason 1965, 1991; Mason and others 1962, 1963), and the adverse consequences of early social restriction are only somewhat ameliorated by later rehabilitation efforts (Davenport and Rogers 1970; Davenport and others 1973; Fritz 1986, 1989; Rogers and Davenport 1970). Efforts have been made to identify the exact types of social stimulation required for normal development in some species, and there is some debate concerning minimal amounts of stimulation that are required to produce normal social and reproductive skills. That is of practical importance not only for rearing orphaned animals or animals abandoned by their mothers, but also because the pressure to produce infants in a breeding colony can result in early weaning and separation to reduce lactational amenorrhea, when it is present, and advance the next conception. It is clear that