Cape Fires Update: Tuesday 3 March, 2015 @ 17h00

The Baboon Technical Team has issued a Situation Report Update on the Northern Troops as @ 17h00, Tuesday 3 March, 2015.

The 405 baboons in ten troops managed by the City are, so far, unscathed by the Cape fires. The City of Cape Town and Baboon Technical Team continues to watch the fast evolving situation closely.
Over 60 baboon rangers from City of Cape Town’s service provider, Human Wildlife Solutions, manage the ten troops which are divided into three management regions.

South-Eastern Region: Smitswinkel Troop, Waterfall Troop & two 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 as they are located in a region that is south of Kommetije to Glencairn – M65 highway – which is unaffected by the fire.

The fires described this morning, by the media, as “dancing towards the Tokai forest”, will only be a threat to the baboons in the Tokai region if they are not brought under control.

Last night (Monday 2 March), all four troops in the Northern Region (222 baboons) instinctively moved down the slopes of Table Mountain National Park to below Level One and slept safely in the following locations:

  • Zwaanswyk Troop – slept in the Tokai Picnic area.
  • Tokai Troop – Slept around the SANParks Guest House – just above the Chrysalis Academy.
  • Mountain Troop slept near the bike trails – Just above Buitenverwachting Wine Estate.
  • Constantia Troop – slept in the upper gums above Price Drive.

 

Has the fire affected foraging areas?

Will the fires affect the baboon foraging sites going forward? Much depends on the extent of the damage – which can only be assessed after the fires have been extinguished.

If the Tokai forests are badly burnt, then yes, a food source for the Tokai and Zwaanswyk Troops will be affected.  There will be less foraging for the baboons and the potential for raiding will increase.

However, the impact will be short term.  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 will be even better than it is at present.

Population Data for the Ten Managed Troops on the Cape Peninsula
TROOP
Total End Dec 2012
Total End Dec 2013
Total End Dec 2014
Jan Births
Jan     Deaths
Total Births 2015
Total Deaths 2015
TOTAL CURRENT POPULATION

Da Gama Troop

54
44
50
 2 1
51 

Smitswinkel Bay

23
21
23
2
24 

Waterfall

28
30 
29 
   
29 

Groot Olifantsbos

19
19 
19 
   
0
0
19 

Misty Cliffs Splinter

18
17
16 
16 

Slangkop

33
40 
44 
   
0
44 
SUB TOTAL
175
171 
181 
5
183 

Zwaanswyk

25
30 
29 
 
30

Tokai

61
70
68 
 
69 

Mountain

33
44 
47 
   
47 

Constantia

60
72 
75 
 
76 
SUB TOTAL
179
216
219 
222 
TOTAL
354
387
400 
405 

Table 1. Population data for the ten managed troops on the Cape Peninsula.

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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