Tracking collars uncover the secrets and techniques of baboons’ raiding ways

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New badysis exhibits how canny baboons in Cape Town use a sit-and-wait tactic earlier than raiding folks’s houses in the hunt for meals. Credit: Dr Gaëlle Fehlmann

Scientists from Swansea University are a part of a world crew who’ve revealed how canny baboons in Cape Town, South Africa, use a sit-and-wait tactic earlier than raiding folks’s houses in the hunt for meals.


“Raiding baboons are a real challenge in the Cape Peninsula, South Africa. The baboons enter properties to raid in gardens and bins, but also enter homes and sometimes take food directly from people”, mentioned Professor Justin O’Riain, Director of the Institute for Communities and Wildlife in Africa on the University of Cape Town, and co-author on the research printed by Scientific Reports.

In a earlier research, the crew confirmed that while Cape Town’s baboon administration technique was conserving baboons away from the city area, some males have been nonetheless discovering methods in. The crew due to this fact constructed bespoke baboon monitoring collars permitting them monitor the actions and exercise ranges of 10 males by way of GPS and accelerometer sensors.

Dr Gaëlle Fehlmann, lead creator of the research, mentioned: “People badume the baboons don’t have enough food in their natural habitats and therefore have no choice but to forage in town. In fact, our research shows there is plenty of food in the natural environment where there is very little risk of the baboons being disturbed by anyone. In contrast, the chances of human-baboon conflicts in urban areas are high, but so are the food rewards, which are 10 times richer in terms of calories”.

New badysis exhibits how canny baboons in Cape Town use a sit-and-wait tactic earlier than raiding folks’s houses in the hunt for meals. Credit: Dr Gaëlle Fehlmann

The collar information revealed that male baboons have been staying on the metropolis edge, partaking briefly however intense forays to the city atmosphere when alternative introduced itself, much like a sit-and-wait technique.

Dr Andrew King, head of Swansea University’s SHOALgroup and senior creator of the research, added: “We suspected the baboons were doing something clever to allow them to minimise the risks badociated with urban foraging, and the data collected from the collars confirmed this”.

The information exhibits that as a consequence of their raiding ways, the baboons studied solely foraged for about 10% of their time, which is significantly lower than the non-raiding baboons within the Cape Peninsula or elsewhere on the African continent which spend at the very least half of their time foraging.

Dr Fehlmann added: “Our results present unequivocal evidence of extreme behavioural flexibility in these baboons. Behavioural flexibility has long been considered a central component of a species ability to cope with human-induced environmental changes, but has been difficult or impossible to quantify in wild animal populations. The new tracking technologies employed by the researchers are changing this”.

Now that researchers have uncovered the raiding ways of those canny baboons, methods will probably be refined to additional enhance Cape Town’s already profitable baboon administration programme.


Explore additional:
New instruments to spy on raiding baboons in suburbs of Cape Town, South Africa

More data:
Gaelle Fehlmann et al. Extreme behavioural shifts by baboons exploiting dangerous, resource-rich, human-modified environments, Scientific Reports (2017). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-14871-2

Journal reference:
Scientific Reports

Provided by:
Swansea University

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