zoo horizontal strip

Uses of UV light

Provision of UV light in captive primates

By testing light provision comparable to native UV levels in a range of captive primates, we have found benefits that have led to improved husbandry measures for many of our species.


The importance of ultra-violet (UV) light provision for captive reptiles is well documented; appropriate UVA and UVB lighting for various species is behaviourally and physiologically beneficial. However, the effect of UV light provision in other taxa has not received as much attention, possibly due to the difficulty in establishing ‘natural’ requirements. In-situ, many primates inhabit biomes with high levels of UV radiation; therefore, captive habitats should attempt to replicate these UV levels.

By testing UV lighting provision in a range of captive primate species, we can provide scientific evidence on the effect of UVA and UVB. We have also monitored seasonal UV levels at both Paignton Zoo and Newquay Zoo, which can be compared to native range UV levels. Findings have led to recommendations for improved husbandry and enclosure management in the provision of UV lighting for many of our primate species.


Hillcoat-Nalletamby, I-R & Farmer, H.L. (2017). Artificial UVB Provision Set-Up Guide: Paignton Zoo Project Experience.