animals that normally flee upward and spend much of their locomotor time climbing, floor areas might be secondary to vertical space in providing for postural and locomotor expression. The volume of space available, rather than floor area, might be critical for nonhuman primates. Guidelines for minimal space for primates should be reassessed on the basis of such considerations (NRC 1996).
Whereas we know some of the relevant dimensions that influence psychological well-being in nonhuman primates and some of the outcomes that we hope to attain by proper specification of such characteristics, we cannot specify the exact measurements required for each of the many species and for individual animals of every age, sex, and life history. But we can expect institutions to monitor and assess the conditions of animals in their charge and to make appropriate efforts to improve conditions that do not meet the criteria of psychological well-being.
In sum, whereas a great deal is known about the natural history and behavior of nonhuman primates held in captivity, much more information is required. While some research areas are discussed in Chapter 10, the use to which this information is to be put should be unequivocal—the furtherance of performance goals through the enhancement of knowledge. Even with substantially greater information, the development of prescriptive recipes for primate well-being would not be desirable. A variety of solutions might achieve the same general goal: animals that are maintained under conditions that promote their physical and psychological well-being. The aim of research in this area should be to find means by which to assess psychological and physical well-being and to provide the knowledge necessary to develop programs to achieve this general goal. Animals maintained for research, exhibition, or education can all be maintained under conditions that are consistent with this goal and that will provide for their well-being. It is the responsibility of all who keep nonhuman primates to ensure that personnel are appropriately trained to develop procedures consistent with the goals of the institution and the psychological and physical well-being of the animals in their charge.