Behaviour 2019
Evidence of vocal express of emotions in Cuniculus paca  
Sergio Nogueira-Filho, Allison Lima, Stella Lima, Selene Nogueira. Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz, Ilhéus, Bahia, Brazil

Because of its tasty meat, the farming of the Cuniculus paca has spread throughout the Neotropics. As there are different ways to breed the species, we aimed to evaluate the use of acoustic indicators for monitoring the C. paca's welfare. We collected data from 18 groups of paca, totaling 54 adult individuals (36 females and 18 males). We recorded the vocalizations emitted by these animals in four conditions, with positive/negative valences and respective arousals: routine feeding (neutral valence and arousal); less palatable food (positive valence and less arousal) favorite fruit (positive valence and higher arousal) and cleaning the pen (negative valence and higher arousal). Among the six call types emitted (bark, roar, snore, growl, tooth chattering and cry) only bark and roar were recorded in all conditions. There were no significant differences in acoustic parameters according to the valences and arousals. There were, however, higher emissions of barks and roars during the negative condition (cleaning). As there are several differences in acoustic structure between paca call types, the very emission of barks and roars can be used as poor welfare indicator for the C. paca.