A Low-Cost Manipulation of Food Resources Reduces Spatial Overlap Between Baboons (Papio ursinus) and Humans in Conflict

Abstract

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4

References

  1. Akaike, H. (1974). A new look at the statistical model identification. IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, 19(6), 7716–7723.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Altmann, J. (1974). Observational study of behaviour: sampling methods. Behaviour, 49(3/4), 227–267.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Altmann, J., & Alberts, S. C. (2003). Variability in reproductive success viewed from a life-history perspective in baboons. American Journal of Human Biology, 15, 401–409.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Altmann, J., & Alberts, S. C. (2005). Growth rates in a wild primate population: ecological influences and maternal effects. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 57(5), 490–501.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Altmann, J., & Muruthi, P. (1988). Differences in daily life between semi provisioned and wild-feeding baboons. American Journal of Primatology, 15, 213–221.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Asquith, P. (1989). Provisioning and the study of free-ranging primates: history, effects and prospects. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 32(S10), 129–158.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 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.

  8. 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 

  9. Bronikowski, A. M., & Altmann, J. (1996). Foraging in a variable environment: weather patterns and the behavioral ecology of baboons. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 39, 11–25.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Casey, D., & Hein, D. (1983). Effects of heavy browsing on a bird community in deciduous forest. Journal of Wildlife Management, 47, 829–836.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Conradt, L., & Roper, T. J. (2003). Group decision-making in animals. Nature, 421, 155–158.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Conradt, L., & Roper, T. J. (2005). Consensus decision making in animals. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 20, 449–456.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 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 

  14. Cooper, S. M., Owens, M. K., Cooper, R. M., & Ginnett, T. F. (2006). Effect of supplemental feeding on spatial distribution and browse utilization by white-tailed deer in semi-arid rangeland. Journal of Arid Environments, 66, 716–726.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Cowling, R. M., MacDonald, I. A. W., & Simmons, M. T. (1996). The Cape Peninsula, South Africa, physiographical, biological and historical background to an extraordinary hotspot of biodiversity. Biodiversity and Conservation, 5, 527–550.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Devas, F. (2005). The influence of social relationships on foraging success in chacma baboons (Papio ursinus). Ph.D. thesis, University of Cambridge.

  17. De Vries, H., Netto, W. J., & Hanegraaf, P. L. H. (1993). Matman—a program for the analysis of sociometric matrices and behavioural transition matrices. Behaviour, 125, 157–175.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Dickman, A. J. (2010). Complexities of conflict: the importance of considering social factors for effectively resolving human–wildlife conflict. Animal Conservation, 13(5), 458–466.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 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 

  20. 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 

  21. 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 

  22. 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 

  23. Grenier, D., Barrette, C., & Crête, M. (1999). Food access by white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) at winter feeding sites in eastern Québec. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 63, 323–337.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Hamilton, W. D. (1964). The genetical theory of social behaviour. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 7, 1–52.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  25. Hill, C. M. (2000). A conflict of interests between people and baboons: crop raiding in Uganda. International Journal of Primatology, 21, 299–315.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. 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.

  27. Katsvanga, C. A. T., Mudyiwa, S. M., & Gwenzi, D. (2006). Bark stripping and population dynamics of baboon troops after chemical control in pine plantations of Zimbabwe. African Journal of Ecology, 44, 413–416.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. King, A. J., Douglas, C. M. S., Huchard, E., Isaac, N. J. B., & Cowlishaw, G. (2008). Dominance and affiliation mediate despotism in a social primate. Current Biology, 18, 1833–1838.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  29. López-Bao, J. V., Rodríguez, A., & Palomares, F. (2009). Competitive asymmetries in the use of supplementary food by the endangered Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus). PLoS ONE, 4(10), 1–10.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Marchal, V., & Hill, C. (2009). Primate crop-raiding: a study of local perceptions in four villages in North Sumatra, Indonesia. Primate Conservation, 24, 107–116.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Margalida, A., González, L. M., Sánchez, R., Oria, J., Prada, L., Caldera, J., et al. (2007). A long-term large-scale study of the breeding biology of the Spanish imperial eagle (Aquila adalberti). Journal of Ornithology, 148, 309–322.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. 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 

  33. Mishra, C. (1997). Livestock depredation by large carnivores in the Indian trans-Himalaya: conflict perceptions and conservation prospects. Environmental Conservation, 24, 338–343.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Naughton-Treves, L. (1997). Farming the forest edge: vulnerable places and people around Kibale National Park, Uganda. Geographical Review, 87, 27–46.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Naughton-Treves, L., Treves, A., Chapman, C., & Wrangham, R. (1998). Temporal patterns of crop-raiding by primates: linking food availability in croplands and adjacent forest. Journal of Applied Ecology, 35, 596–606.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Nyhus, P. J., & Tilson, R. (2004). Characterizing human-tiger conflict in Sumatra, Indonesia: implications for conservation. Oryx, 38, 68–74.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Partridge, S. T., Nolte, D. L., Ziegltrum, G. J., & Robbins, C. T. (2001). Impacts of supplemental feeding on the nutritional ecology of black bears. Journal of Wildlife Management, 65, 191–199.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Rasbash, J., Steele, F., Browne, W., & Prosser, B. (2003). A user’s guide to MLwiN version 2.0. London: Institute of Education.

    Google Scholar 

  39. 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 

  40. Ripple, W. J., & Beschta, R. L. (2007). Restoring Yellowstone’s aspen with wolves. Biological Conservation, 138, 514–519.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Robb, G. N., McDonald, R. A., Chamberlain, D. E., & Bearhop, S. (2008). Food for thought: supplementary feeding as a driver of ecological change in avian populations. Frontiers in Ecology and Environment, 6, 476–484.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. 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.

  43. Rodriguez-Hidalgo, P., Gortazar, C., Tortosa, F. S., Rodriguez-Vigal, C., Fierro, Y., & Vicente, J. (2010). Effects of density, climate, and supplementary forage on body mass and pregnancy rates of female red deer in Spain. Oecologia, 164, 389–398.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  44. Roper, T. J., Findlay, S. R., Lüps, P., & Sheperdson, D. J. (1995). Damage by badgers Meles meles to wheat Triticum vulgare and barley Hordeum sativum crops. Journal of Applied Ecology, 32, 720–726.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Sahlsten, J., Bunnefeld, N., Månsson, J., & Ericsson, G. (2010). Can supplementary feeding be used to redistribute moose? Wildlife Biology, 16, 85–92.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Saj, T., Sicotte, P., & Paterson, J. D. (1999). Influence of human food consumption on the time budget of vervets. International Journal of Primatology, 20, 977–994.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Schmidt, K. T., & Hoi, H. (2002). Supplemental feeding reduces natural selection in juvenile red deer. Ecography, 25(3), 265–272.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. Strum, S. C. (2005). Measuring success in primate translocation: a baboon case study. American Journal of Primatology, 65, 117–140.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  49. Strum, S. C. (2010). The development of primate raiding: implications for management and conservation. International Journal of Primatology, 31, 133–156.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  50. 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.

  51. 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.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  52. 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 

  53. Western Cape Nature Conservation (2000). Western Cape Nature Conservation Laws Amendment Act, Sections 25A-47, 43–54.

  54. Woodroffe, R., Thirgood, S., & Rabinowitz, A. R. (2005). The impact of human–wildlife conflict on natural systems. In R. Woodroffe, S. Thirgood, & A. R. Rabinowitz (Eds.), People and wildlife: Conflict or coexistence? (pp. 1–12). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

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.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Bentley S. Kaplan.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Kaplan, B.S., O’Riain, M.J., van Eeden, R. et al. A Low-Cost Manipulation of Food Resources Reduces Spatial Overlap Between Baboons (Papio ursinus) and Humans in Conflict. Int J Primatol 32, 1397–1412 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10764-011-9541-8

Download citation

Keywords

  • Baboon
  • Despotism
  • Human–wildlife conflict
  • Leadership
  • Provisioning