The benefit of Ultra Violet (UV) exposure for animals is widely recognised but little studied. It is understood to have a wide range of health benefits for skin, hair, bone development and even animal fertility. Most available data on UV exposure is based on reptiles studied in Australia. Obviously, animals in their natural surroundings have a higher UV exposure than can be provided in temperate zoo collections, so how do we look at the issue?
With that question in mind, Steve Goodwin and Priscilla Mills from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) London Zoo, came to REGUA and spent two weeks measuring the UVI (ultraviolet Index) on the Common Marmoset (Callithrix Jacchus) in the wild.
They measured daytime temperatures, light levels and humidity, to build a profile of what these animals may be exposed to throughout the day.
Through their careful and constant fieldwork, Steve and Priscilla observe for how long and what level of UV these marmosets are exposed to, and hopefully this will help build a better picture of what these animals need to remain healthy.
Steve and Priscilla can then extrapolate the information and compare it to the levels offered in captivity and gain an insight into their behaviour back at the Zoo. If this data proves to be successful, than they wish to use it for other mammal species in captivity.