Less bins, less baboons: reducing access to anthropogenic food effectively decreases the urban foraging behavior of a troop of chacma baboons (Papio hamadryas ursinus) in a peri-urban area - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Primates Year : 2022

Less bins, less baboons: reducing access to anthropogenic food effectively decreases the urban foraging behavior of a troop of chacma baboons (Papio hamadryas ursinus) in a peri-urban area

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Abstract

In South Africa, chacma baboons (Papio hamadryas ursinus) living near peri-urban areas may forage on anthropogenic food. Baboons have been recorded to damage crops, scatter waste from trash bins, and damage homes. A number of methods have been tested over the past 20 years to solve these problems, but none proved successful over the long-term or involved considerable costs. An efficient management system requires a detailed knowledge of how baboon troops proceed and organize during these urban foraging actions. This study examines the response of a troop of baboons to an experimental reduction of anthropogenic food sources in a peri-urban environment, the George campus of Nelson Mandela University (SA). We gradually suppressed access to waste food in trash cans, reducing the amount of anthropogenic food available. This change in food availability led baboons to modify their urban foraging strategy. They compensated for the lack of anthropogenic food by spending more time foraging on natural food and less time in urban areas. However, the troop still exploited waste-free areas during the experiment and even more when the conditions were normal again. Overall, these results show the ability of baboons to adapt to changes in anthropogenic food availability but also that they are highly dependent on this type of resource. Limiting its access is a mitigation strategy that humans must absolutely develop for reaching a high level of coexistence with baboons.
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Dates and versions

hal-03921032 , version 1 (03-01-2023)

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Mazue Frédéric, Guerbois Chloé, Fritz Hervé, Rebout Nancy, Petit Odile. Less bins, less baboons: reducing access to anthropogenic food effectively decreases the urban foraging behavior of a troop of chacma baboons (Papio hamadryas ursinus) in a peri-urban area. Primates, 2022, ⟨10.1007/s10329-022-01032-x⟩. ⟨hal-03921032⟩
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