Abstract # 2910 Event # 115:

Scheduled for Saturday, June 19, 2010 10:00 AM-10:10 AM: Session 19 (Mezzanine Ballroom A/B/C/D) Oral Presentation


THE INTERACTION OF HABITAT COMPOSITION, UTILIZATION AND MANAGEMENT OF CHACMA BABOONS (PAPIO URISINUS) IN THE CAPE PENINSULA, SOUTH AFRICA.

A. C. van Doorn and M. J. O'Riain
University of Cape Town, Department of Zoology, Cape Town, South Africa
line
     

In this study we compared the habitat use of two troops of commensal chacma baboons in the South African Cape Peninsula. One troop is subject to ‘baboon monitors’ employed to herd baboons out of urban areas. We aimed to understand the effects of these monitors on baboon habitat use. We recorded GPS positions and habitat type at 10-minute intervals from dawn to dusk from April 2004–August 2005. Both troops showed a marked preference for alien vegetation and used the highly available endemic habitat significantly less than predicted [non-monitored: X2(3)=1.63, P<0.001; monitored: X2(3)=2.74, P<0.001] The troops differed in their patterns of home range use, daily distances travelled and seasonal variation in habitat use. In particular, home range shapes differed considerably, with the non-monitored troop showing a more typical linear pattern while the monitored troop was distinctively bimodal. While both troops used larger proportions of their home ranges in summer than winter, the monitored troop’s day journey length did not increase seasonally as the non-monitored troop’s did [Kruskal-Wallis: monitored: H=4, P=0.61, n=56; non-monitored: H=3, P=0.001, n=68]. The troops also differed in travel speed,the monitored troop moving slower than non-monitored troop with the exception of morning and evening acceleration peaks [r2=0.004, P=0.03]. These differences are attributable to the monitors’ ‘herd and hold’ technique and suggest that monitors significantly influence baboon habitat use.