Human management

SOUTH AFRICA: Towards a sustainable solution for the management of baboons in Cape Town?

This is a memorandum of understanding that could soon improve the management of baboons in Cape Town, South Africa. Several conservation organizations, including South African National Parks (SANParks), Cape Nature, Forestry and Fisheries, are working together to put in place sustainable solutions for the welfare of these animals in Table Mountain National Park and other areas. protected from the capital.

To this end, stakeholders, under the coordination of the Minister for Forests, Fisheries and the Environment, Barbara Creecy, and the Deputy Mayor of Cape Town, Alderman Eddie Andrews, will assemble a team of scientists to alleviate the long-standing human-ape problem. conflict in the South African capital.

Prevent human-wildlife conflicts

According to the Kommetjie Environmental Action Group (KEAG), a population census of baboons in 1998 counted 365 individuals. Most of them were shot by the authorities, like these chacma baboons, attracted by human food, the looting of houses, gardens and cars. In April 2021, for example, the Cape Town Municipality announced that a baboon accused of serial theft had been euthanized with the help of a veterinarian.

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“We have turned the ecosystem upside down. Lions were hunted over a century ago. The leopard was last seen on the Cape Peninsula in the 1930s. As predators became rarer, the population of baboons increased dramatically,” says Justin O’Riain, senior researcher at the Institute. for Communities and Wildlife in Africa (iCWild) at the University of Cape Town.

Benoit-Ivan Wansi