Bark stripping by chacma baboons (papio ursinus) in relation to daily patterns of activity, feeding behaviour and home range in a pine plantation in Eastern Zimbabwe
Ndagurwa, Hilton G.T
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This study reports daily activity pattern, home range size, daily travel distances and feeding behaviour for a troop of chacma baboons (Papio hamadryas ursinus) inhabiting a pine plantation in Eastern Highlands, Zimbabwe. The amount of time spent foraging is similar to other baboons, Papio hamadryas in particular. The minimum home range size and daily travel distance for this troop are smaller than those reported for other troops of chacma, yellow, olive and hamadryas baboons in South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Saudi Arabia. Erin forest baboon densities, however, are much larger than those reported elsewhere for baboons. The high densities may be related to the high concentration of food resources within the pine plantation. The study also examined the possible underlying causes of bark stripping by chacma baboons. Bark stripping does not appear to be linked to critical limitations in resources such as food, sleeping sites or water. Instead, bark stripping may be a prophylactic or trace nutrient augmentation measure as suggested by a high correlation between coughing by baboons and bark stripping. This possible link between baboon health (as reflected by coughing), parasite loads and trace nutrient requirements and bark stripping merits further investigation.