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The baboon population of the Cape Peninsula is the only protected baboon population in South Africa.

It is now a scientific fact that the welfare of baboons rises when the conflict between baboons and urban dwellers is managed. As a result of scientific baboon management, the Peninsula baboon population is steadily rising.

Population census

In early January 2013, a population census concluded by Esmé Beamish of the Baboon Research Unit (BRU) of the University of Cape Town indicated that the total baboon population on the Cape Peninsula was 501. The census covered all 16 troops in the Southern Peninsula, including the three splinter troops – Da Gama, Misty Cliffs and Zwaanswyk.

Total baboon population – year on year

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By mid-2014 it was estimated that a total of 550 baboons were living in 16 troops on the Peninsula.

Current figures – managed troops

Over the past two years, Human Wildlife Solutions (HWS) have used the December 2012 census population total as a baseline and accurately recorded birth, deaths and emigrations and immigrations to derive troop numbers.

The latest ground count by Esmé Beamish is accurate up to the end of January 2015. HWS will now use these counts as a baseline for future counts. They were incorporated into HWS data as of the HWS February 2015 Report. According to these statistics 383 individuals baboons live in the 10 managed troops on the Peninsula.

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The population of the Cape Peninsula Managed Baboon Troops continues to show positive growth.

This is supported by the ratio of juveniles: adult females in the population being greater than 1.

Another positive trend is that overall mortality is lower than the previous year.

The Adult Sex ratio (number adult males: adult females) is within the normal range for Chacma baboons (Papio ursinus) indicating a healthy male population.

Census date: 31 January 2015
Esme Beamish M.Sc.
University of Cape Town Baboon Research Unit

Baboon Population Resources:

  • For more information on the managed baboon troops of the Cape Peninsula, see the latest HWS Baboon Management Reports
  • Click here to view or download the Census Data Table. 
  • Click here to see census: Cape Peninsula Managed Baboon Troops @ January 2014
  • Click here to see census: Cape Peninsula Managed Baboon Troops @ January 2015


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