Following the movement of baboons on Karoo farms

Hello dear readers, this morning, I received some fresh news from the Baboon Project and Marion that I would like to share with you:

“Now that the temperatures are starting to rise in the Karoo, let’s get a small refreshment by catching up on baboon captures from last winter. Given our limited number of collars, it was more interesting to focus on baboons’ movements at the troop level rather than at the individual level. We thus aimed at collaring individuals from separate troops across the Laingsburg District to obtain a proxy for the movement patterns of different troops in the Central Karoo farms.

The capture setting was therefore a bit different than for jackals and caracals, because we had to spend time selecting for farms, preferentially with losses report due to baboons, with capture sites far enough from each other to avoid capturing several members of the same troop. Each farm capture site was therefore chosen by monitoring baboon activity in the field, searching for presence indices like tracks, scats and sleeping sites.

cliff

Landscape with possible sleeping sites where Marion is searching for indices of baboon presence

Attracted by mealie and orange baits, Feta (that you’ve already met), Cheddar, Brie, Ricotta and Roquefort are now collared baboons who are part of the Project and monitored since last winter. The analysis of their movements and habitat preference is ongoing at UCT.”

mealis

Marion preparing baits for baboon captures. Here, she is making a nice mealie bait.

Roquefort

Roquefort, the last baboon collared by Marion, just before waking up from the sedation and before his release.

Good luck Marion and the baboons! And thank you to all the farmers who allowed Marion to capture baboons on their farms and helped her.

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