Cape Fires Update: Monday 9th March 2015 @ 15:00

Over 60 baboon rangers from City of Cape Town’s service provider, Human Wildlife Solutions, manage 405 baboons in ten managed ten troops, divided into three management regions.

South-Eastern Region: Smitswinkel Troop, Waterfall Troop & Da Gama Troops.
South-Western Region: Groot Olifantsbos Troop, Misty Cliffs Troop & Slangkop Troop.
Northern Region: Tokai Troop, Zwaanswyk Troop, Mountain Troop and Constantia Troop

The baboons in the South East Region and South West Region are unaffected by the fires at this stage.

 

 

 

 

Tokai Troop

The Baboon Technical Team (BTT) regrets to confirm, that a total of nine baboons in the Tokai Troop have now died, on account of injuries sustained in last week’s fire.

The final tally of dead and recovering fire-injured baboons in the Tokai Troop, as @ Monday March 9 @ 14h00, is as follows:

  • Four critically injured baboons have been euthanased.
  • Four dead baboons found as charred carcasses.
  • One critically injured infant – assumed to be dead
  • Seven injured baboons continue to be assessed.

The Tokai troop is now confirmed to have 64 baboons in the troop – down from 73.

Foraging For The Northern Region Baboon Troops

Images of baboons surveying moonscapes of burnt sand, released late last week, resulted in an outpouring of emotion from concerned residents over the weekend.

Baboon rangers, BTT members, veterinarians and animal welfare experts are all evaluating the situation, on a daily basis. The assessment is that there appears to be adequate food in the forests and plenty of water in running streams, for all four Northern Troops.

Dr Phil Richardson from Human Wildlife Solutions notes the following:

  • Pine trees across the Tokai Forest went into shock after the fires and have dropped cones filled with pine nuts across the forest floor. So there are lots of tiny seeds and nuts that the baboons are picking up beneath the burnt trees.
  • There are also hundreds of dead and burnt lizards, mice and insects across the mountain slopes to provide protein for the baboons.

Plea to Residents NOT to Feed the Baboons

It is absolutely critical that residents do NOT start to randomly feed baboons in their gardens or along the road with vegetables, fruits or ANY food associated with a human home. This will just encourage baboons to start raiding homes again.

The baboons are being carefully watched. There is a Provisioning Baboon Protocol and any feeding, if it becomes necessary, will follow international best practice as laid out under this protocol.

If additional provisioning is required, the baboons will be fed surreptitiously, in such a way, that they do not realise they are being fed. To this end, baboon rangers will just sprinkle seeds or mealie pips in baboon foraging areas.

It is vitally important to encourage the baboons to continue foraging out of town.Rejuvenation of the forests

Research has shown that the fires stimulate plant growth and as soon as the first rains arrive, bulbs will be easier to find and the foraging may be even better than it was before the fires.

Rejuvenation of the Forests

Research has shown that the fires stimulate plant growth and as soon as the first rains arrive, bulbs will be easier to find and the foraging may be even better than it was before the fires.

life goes on DSC 7885

Where are the four Northern Troops?

At noon this morning (Monday 9 March), the troops were in the following locations:

  • Tokai Troop: Foraging up at Level 5 in the Tokai Forests.
  • Zwaanswyk Troop: Foraging up at Level 4 in the Tokai Forests.
  • Mountain Troop: Just above Buitenverwachting Wine Estate.
  • Constantia Troop: Just above Groot Constantia Wine Estate.

Addendum: Background Information

The management of baboon troops on the Cape Peninsula is undertaken jointly by the City of Cape Town, Table Mountain National Park (SANParks) and CapeNature, who are known collectively as the Baboon Technical Team (BTT).

Valuable input is gratefully received on various issues from the baboon rangers, wildlife veterinarians, Baboon Research Unit (University of Cape Town) and animal welfare organisations (such as Cape of Good Hope SPCA).

Management decisions regarding raiding baboons are subject to assessment by recognised wildlife management experts and permits are issued by the Wildlife Advisory Committee of CapeNature.

A wide range of City of Cape Town residents are elected to the Baboon Liaison Group which is made up of representatives from the Constantia Property Owners Association, Scarborough Residents & Ratepayers Association, Kommetjie Residents & Ratepayers Association, Misty Cliffs Village Association, Ocean View Civic Association, Tokai Residents Association, Zwaanswyk Residents Association and the Simon’s Town Civic Association.

The BLG meets regularly with the BTT to discuss a range of issues related to protecting baboons from retribution by residents which includes injuries from pellet guns, poisons, dogs and car injuries. The aim of both organizations is to maintain a sustainable baboon population that lives in the natural areas. The City of Cape Town’s is also mandated to protect residents and visitors from raiding baboons.

Chacma baboons form part of the Peninsula’s rich biodiversity and they play a potentially significant ecological role in the Cape Floristic Region. Under current management programmes, the Peninsula baboon population is growing steadily and is not endangered, nor is it under threat.

Additional Info

  • Media Contact: Julia Wood, Manager: Biodiversity Management Branch, Environmental Resource Management Department (ERMD)
  • Telephone: +2721 514 4155
  • Alternate Telephone: +2721 514 4189
  • Cell Phone Number: 084 4649153
  • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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