4 challenges to the future of baboons

1. Urban development

As more natural land is lost to development, so baboon habitats on the Peninsula are shrinking – especially land on the lower slopes of the mountain which are favoured foraging areas of the troops. The shrinking of natural habitats creates more contact between humans and baboons and increases the potential for rising conflict. This creates the possibility for more frequent removal of baboons or culling of troops. A need for more infrastructure, for example, electric fencing, may be required to keep baboons out of urban areas and this may put more baboons at risk for electrocution.

2. Human negligence

When humans show an indifference to good waste management and baboon-proofing in known baboon areas, the baboons are encouraged to enter town to find ‘easy’ food. This may result in cruelty or ill-treatment of baboons by residents who become angry with constant raids and property destruction. Baboons who become habitual raiders may later be marked for euthanasia, resulting in changes in the dynamic and hierarchy of the troop and a potential for further problems.

3. Climate Change

This will likely affect the availably of water. Authorities may have to supply water tanks for the baboons in natural areas. Fynbos is the natural food of the baboons and may also be affected by climate change.

4. Future funding for baboon management

Funding for the management of baboons may be limited in the future. Options are needed to raise money to conserve baboons and new ways of managing troops may need to be explored.

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