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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Measuring success in primate translocation: A baboon case study

Published source details

Strum S.C. (2005) Measuring success in primate translocation: A baboon case study. American Journal of Primatology, 65, 117-140


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Remove and relocate ‘problem’ animals Primate Conservation

A controlled, before-and-after trial in 1973-2001 in savannah at the Laikipia Plateau, Kenya (2) found that crop-raiding olive baboons Papio anubis, regarded as ‘problem’ animals and translocated from farmland to natural habitat along with other interventions, survived the translocation, with most individuals surviving over 16 years. The survival rate of two translocated troops (total of 94 baboons) did not change significantly 16 years after the release (1984: 94 animals; 2001: 62 animals). Also, there was no difference in survival rate compared to a wild troop at the capture site and another resident troop at the release site (data reported as statistical model results). Both troops were released into habitat with resident baboons and predators. Prior to translocation, individuals underwent veterinary screens and some sick baboons were treated. A long-term research study was launched to study these animals. After release, baboons were temporarily provided with food during periods of drought in the first two years post-translocation but no other interventions took place after 1986. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

(Summarised by JJ)

Regularly provide supplementary food to primates during resource scarce periods only Primate Conservation

A controlled, before-and-after trial in 1973-2001 in savannah at Chololo ranch, Laikipia Plateau, Kenya found that translocated crop-raiding wild olive baboons Papio anubis that were temporarily provided with food during resource scarce periods along with other interventions, survived over 17 years post-translocation. The size of the translocated population consisting of two troops totalling 94 baboons in 1984, decreased to 62 individuals in 2001 but this decrease was not statistically significant and survival rates did not differ between control and study groups. One wild troop at the capture site and another resident troop at the release site served as control groups. Immediately after translocation and in 1986, baboons were provided with cattle feed, once for three weeks and once for 13 weeks during drought. No supplementary feeding was provided after 1986. Both troops were released into habitat with resident baboons and predators. Prior to translocation of these ‘problem’-animals, individuals underwent veterinary screens and some sick baboons were treated. A long-term research study was launched after translocation. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Run research project and ensure permanent human presence at site Primate Conservation

A controlled, before-and-after trial in 1973-2001 in savannah at Chololo ranch, Laikipia Plateau, Kenya found that two troops of translocated crop-raiding olive baboons Papio anubis were still surviving over 16 years post-translocation while being permanently observed by researchers, along with other interventions. The size of the translocated population consisting of two troops totalling 94 baboons in 1984, was 62 individuals in 2001. However, this decrease was not statistically significant. Both troops were observed continuously for 18 years post-translocation. No further details on this intervention were reported. One wild troop at the capture site and another resident troop at the release site served as control groups. Survival rates did not differ between control and study groups. Study groups were observed 265 days/year on average in 1985-2001. Both troops were released into a habitat with resident baboons and predators. Prior to translocation of these so-called ‘problem’-animals, individuals underwent veterinary screens and sick baboons were treated. Translocated baboons were briefly provided with food during periods of drought but not after 1986. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Treat sick/injured animals Primate Conservation

A controlled, before-and-after trial in 1973-2001 in savannah at the Chololo ranch, Laikipia Plateau, Kenya found that a population of translocated crop-raiding olive baboons Papio anubis survived over 17 years when some individuals received medical treatments when sick alongside with other interventions. A total of 94 baboons in two troups were translocated in 1984 and 62 individuals remained in 2001 (66% survival). One wild troop at the capture site and another resident troop at the release site served as control groups. Survival rates did not differ between control and study groups. Four females were treated for a bacterial infection but there were no other intervenitons since 1986. Both translocated troops were regarded as ‘problem animals’ by farmers and were released into habitat with resident wild baboons and predators. Before translocation, individuals underwent veterinary screens. In addition, a long-term research project was launched to study these animals. Post-release, baboons were briefly provided with food during periods of drought. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Conduct veterinary screens of animals before reintroducing/translocating them Primate Conservation

A controlled, before-and-after trial in 1973-2001 in savannah at the Chololo ranch, Laikipia Plateau, Kenya found that the populations of translocated crop-raiding olive baboons Papio anubis had survived over 17 years when individuals underwent veterinary screens prior to release, alongside other interventions. Survival rate of individuals in two translocated troops of a total of 94 baboons in 1984 was 66%, where 62 individuals remained in 2001. One wild troop at the capture site and another resident troop at the release site served as control groups. Survival rates did not differ between control and study groups. Both troops, regarded as ‘problem animals’ by farmers, were translocated into habitat with resident wild baboons and predators. A long-term research project studied these animals. After their release, baboons were frequently monitored by researchers and were briefly provided with food during periods of drought. Some sick baboons were treated. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.