Reptile welfare assessment tool development

Ecotourism sea turtles

Development of a behavioural welfare assessment tool for routine use with captive reptiles

Reptiles are commonly housed in wildlife parks and zoos, and are increasingly being kept as pets. 

Husbandry of reptiles is complex; signs of pain or disease can be challenging to recognise, and behaviour is not always well understood. 

This project will build on preliminary work in developing a practical welfare assessment tool for captive reptiles. 

It is our intention to develop a list of animal-based welfare indicators through expert consultation. The list of indicators will then be trialled for reliability on a range of species of captive reptiles housed at Adelaide and Melbourne zoos. 

Alexandra Whittaker


Dr Alexandra Whittaker

Co-supervisor: Dr David McLelland - Zoos SA

Research area: Animal welfare, animal and veterinary sciences, behavioural neuroscience

Recommended honours enrolment: Honours in Animal Science or Honours in Ecology and Environmental Science

Tagged in Honours projects - Animal science, Honours projects - Ecology and environmental science, Honours projects - Alexandra Whittaker, Honours projects - David McLelland, Honours in Animal Science subtheme - Animal and veterinary bioscience, Honours in Animal Science subtheme - Animal behaviour