A Low-Cost Manipulation of Food Resources Reduces Spatial Overlap Between Baboons (Papio ursinus) and Humans in Conflict
- 806 Downloads
Competition over food and space is a primary driver of human–wildlife conflict. In the Cape Peninsula, South Africa, chacma baboons (Papio ursinus) have adapted to a human-modified environment, sleeping on the urban edge and raiding anthropogenic food sources on a daily basis. Human monitors, who herd baboons away from residential areas, are currently the preferred method of conflict mitigation. However, this method is costly and suffers from short-term interruptions, wherein the unexpected absence of monitors may lead to unprepared residents using lethal force to deter raiding baboons. Elsewhere in the chacma baboon distribution (in nonconflict areas), artificial food patches have been shown to alter troop movements drastically by eliciting consistent leadership behavior from alpha males. We investigated whether an artificial patch could be used to draw baboons away from the urban environment in the absence of monitors. First, we introduced an artificial food patch into natural land within a troop’s range and monitored movement and activity patterns. Although the troop utilized the patch, there was not a significant decline in use of the urban space as they continued to favor food in urban waste sites. Maintaining the patch, we then restricted access to these waste sites using wire-mesh fencing and observed a significant reduction in the time the troop spent within the urban space. In both experimental phases we observed consistent leadership, with dominant individuals arriving first at the patch and monopolizing food items thereon. Thus, we recommend the combined strategy of reducing raiding incentives in conjunction with provisioning as a short-term, cost-effective strategy to alter a baboon troop’s movement patterns and raiding frequency.
KeywordsBaboon Despotism Human–wildlife conflict Leadership Provisioning
We thank The Simon’s Town Civic Association, Peter de Villiers, Mrs. Dollery, and the South African Navy for their assistance and cooperation; Stuart and Judy Whittaker for their hospitality; Sabine Muëller for her assistance in the field; Tali Hoffman for assistance in spatial analyses; and 2 anonymous reviewers for helpful comments and suggestions on the manuscript. This work was supported by a South African National Research Foundation (NRF) grant awarded to M. J. O’Riain. A. J. King was supported by an AXA Postdoctoral Fellowship and a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Fellowship (NE.H016600.2). The experiment was approved by the University of Cape Town’s ethics committee and adhered to the legal requirements of South Africa.
- Akaike, H. (1974). A new look at the statistical model identification. IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, 19(6), 7716–7723.Google Scholar
- Beamish, E. K. (2010). Causes and consequences of mortality and mutilation in the Cape Peninsula baboon population, South Africa. M.Sc. thesis, University of Cape Town.Google Scholar
- Boug, A., Biquand, S., Biquand-Guyot, V., & Kamal, K. (1994). The response of commensal hamadryas baboons to seasonal reduction in food provisioning. Revue d’Écologie (La Terre et La Vie), 49, 307–319.Google Scholar
- Cooper, S. M., & Ginnett, T. F. (2000). Potential effects of supplemental feeding of deer on nest predation. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 28(3), 660–666.Google Scholar
- Devas, F. (2005). The influence of social relationships on foraging success in chacma baboons (Papio ursinus). Ph.D. thesis, University of Cambridge.Google Scholar
- Else, J. G. (1991). Nonhuman primates as pests. In H. O. Box (Ed.), Primate responses to environmental change (pp. 115–165). London: Chapman & Hall.Google Scholar
- Fersterer, P., Nolte, D. L., Ziegltrum, G. J., & Gossow, H. (2001). Effect of feeding stations on the home ranges of American black bears in western Washington. Ursus, 12, 51–53.Google Scholar
- Forthman, D. L., Strum, S. C., & Muchemi, G. (2005). Applied conditioned taste aversion and the management and conservation of crop-raiding primates. In J. D. Paterson & J. Wallis (Eds.), Commensalism and conflict: The human–primate interface (pp. 420–443). Norman, OK: American Society of Primatologists.Google Scholar
- Forthman-Quick, D. L. (1986). Activity budgets and the consumption of human food in two troops of baboons, Papio anubis, at Gilgil, Kenya. In J. C. Else & P. C. Lee (Eds.), Primate ecology and conservation (pp. 221–228). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Hoffman, T. S., & O’Riain, M. J. (2010). The spatial ecology of chacma baboons (Papio ursinus) in a human-modified environment. doi: 10.1007/s10764-010-9467-6.
- McCollough, M. A., Todd, C. S., & Owen, R. B., Jr. (1994). Supplemental feeding program for wintering bald eagles in Maine. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 22(2), 147–154.Google Scholar
- Rasbash, J., Steele, F., Browne, W., & Prosser, B. (2003). A user’s guide to MLwiN version 2.0. London: Institute of Education.Google Scholar
- Riley, E. P., & Priston, N. E. C. (2010). Macaques in farms and folklore: exploring the human-nonhuman primate interface in Sulawesi, Indonesia. American Journal of Primatology, 71, 1–7.Google Scholar
- Rodgers, A. R., & Carr, A. P. (1998). HRE: The home range extension for ArcView! User’s manual. Centre for Northern Forest Ecosystem Research, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.Google Scholar
- van Doorn, A. C. (2009). The interface between socioecology and management of chacma baboons (Papio ursinus) in the Cape Peninsula, South Africa. PhD thesis. University of Cape Town.Google Scholar
- van Doorn, A. C., O’Riain, M. J., & Swedell, L. (2010). The effects of extreme seasonality of climate and day length on the activity budget and diet of semi-commensal chacma baboons (Papio ursinus) in the Cape Peninsula of South Africa. American Journal of Primatology, 72, 104–112.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Warren, Y., Higham, J. P., Maclarnon, M. A., & Ross, C. (2011). Crop-raiding and commensalism in olive baboons: The costs and benefits of living with humans. In V. Sommer & C. Ross (Eds.), Primates of Gashaka (Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects 35 (pp. 359–384). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- Western Cape Nature Conservation (2000). Western Cape Nature Conservation Laws Amendment Act, Sections 25A-47, 43–54.Google Scholar