CITES: Appendix II
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IUCN Red List: P. cynocephalus: LC
(What is Red List?)
Key: LC = Least concern
(Click on species name to see IUCN Red List entry, including detailed status assessment information.)
Threat: Harvesting (hunting/gathering)
Hunting pressure on yellow baboons is increasing in some parts of their range
and could reach unsustainable levels if it is not curtailed. Wildlife is the
main source of protein for some people living in rural areas near forests,
and when animals such as baboons, which are skilled crop-raiders, become nuisances,
the harvesting increases to curb the population (FitzGibbon et al. 2000). The
hunting pressure also increases as human population density increases. Eventually,
hunting will extirpate those species that cannot reproduce quickly enough to
replace members of the population lost to hunting (FitzGibbon et al. 2000).
Yellow baboons, like other primates that have relatively slow reproductive
rates, are likely to experience this population reduction as they cannot reproduce
fast enough to compensate for the hunting in some areas. Though they are not
threatened currently, decreasing local populations in and around forests decreases
the overall conservation value of the forests and limits other activities such
as ecotourism (FitzGibbon et al. 2000).
Threat: Accidental Mortality
While the yellow baboons are not threatened with extinction and are currently
of little conservation concern, a pattern of accidental mortality has emerged
among a group of baboons in Mikumi National Park, Tanzania. A highway connecting
Tanzania and Zambia cuts through Mikumi, and baboons and other wildlife are
increasingly threatened by fast-moving vehicles on this stretch of road. Constant
improvements to road conditions allow drivers to increase their speed and subsequently
more animal deaths have been reported (Drews 1995). About 18 yellow baboons
are killed each year as a result of public traffic on the highway, and this
cause of death can contribute up to 10% of the total yearly losses in each
group. As roads are built and paved through remaining rural areas throughout
the range of the yellow baboon, it is possible that collisions with vehicles
can significantly decrease population growth in some areas (Drews 1995).
Threat: Changes in Native Species Dynamics
Natural changes in the ecosystem of Amboseli National Park resulted in high
mortality among yellow baboons during the late 1960s. During this time, significant
changes to the habitat occurred, though it is unclear if these changes directly
affected the baboons or if they were indirectly responsible for the decrease
in population size and density (Altmann 1998). The landscape at Amboseli was
indirectly affected by human population growth in the areas surround the park.
As the human population in surrounding areas grew, an attempt to separate the
park from human areas through fencing caused the elephant population within
the park to be confined. Some 700 elephants became restricted to the boundaries
of the park and rather than moving over huge distances, foraging as they moved,
the elephants remained inside the park, destroying fever trees (Acacia
xanthophloea) and eliminating food sources and shelter for many mammals,
including baboons (Cheney & Seyfarth 1990). Another source of mortality
for the fever trees was the rising water table caused by runoff from Mount Kilimanjaro,
which rises above Amboseli. These two factors played some role in the annual
die-off of 46% of the population of yellow baboons in the park during the years
from 1964-1969 (Altmann 1998).
LINKS TO MORE ABOUT CONSERVATION
ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED IN Papio cynocephalus CONSERVATION
Content last modified: January 6, 2006
Written by Kristina Cawthon Lang. Reviewed by Jeanne Altmann.
Cite this page as:
Cawthon Lang KA. 2006 January 6. Primate Factsheets: Yellow baboon (Papio cynocephalus) Conservation . <http://pin.primate.wisc.edu/factsheets/entry/yellow_baboon/cons>. Accessed 2013 May 25.