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The disregarded West: diet and behavioural ecology of olive baboons in the Ivory Coast.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Folia primatologica; international journal of primatology
Publication Date
Volume
79
Issue
1
Pages
31–51
Identifiers
PMID: 17855793
Source
Medline

Abstract

Despite living under environmental conditions considerably distinct from those of savannah baboons (Papio spp.) in East and southern Africa, very little is known about western Papio populations. We monitored the abundance and group sizes of olive baboons (P. anubis) in the savannah-forest mosaic of the Comoé National Park, northern Ivory Coast, and observed 2 habituated groups of different sizes. Against expectations for the kind of habitat, the individual density was low, yielding only 1.2 baboons/km(2). The groups were small, comprising on average 15 individuals, and the proportion of 1-male groups (50-63%) was remarkably high. One-male groups were more female biased than multi-male groups. The baboons were highly frugivorous, spending about 50% of their feeding time on fruits and seeds of at least 79 woody plant species. The 2 habituated groups had comparatively large home ranges and used forests more often than expected by random. We argue that regular subgrouping of the larger focal group and different habitat quality countervailed inter-group variations. Differences from other study sites, however, are not completely explained by current models of baboon (socio)ecology. It appears that the social organization of olive baboons is more flexible than assumed from data on East African populations.

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