Environmental enrichment in the 21st century

Kristine Coleman, Melinda A. Novak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


More than a quarter of a century has elapsed since the Animal Welfare Act mandated that research facilities develop and follow a plan to promote the psychological well-being of captive primates. Since passage of this law, considerable effort and resources have been directed to designing environmental enrichment strategies in an effort to improve animal welfare. These plans typically consist of environmental enrichment and socialization efforts. While environmental enhancement has undergone a great deal of improvement in the past 25 years, it should be viewed as a continual work in progress, which takes advantage of emergent and future technologies. In this review, we discuss the objectives of the environmental enhancement plan along with relevant outcome measures, as well as ongoing challenges, costs, and benefits. We then review various enrichment strategies and assess their efficacy in meeting goals and objectives. Finally, we look forward to consider what the future might hold for environmental enrichment of nonhuman primates used in research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-307
Number of pages13
JournalILAR Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017


  • Animal welfare
  • Nonhuman primate
  • Psychological well-being
  • Social housing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Environmental enrichment in the 21st century'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this