Female Baboons Move up the Ranks.

Where food is concerned the Cape Peninsula’s Chacma baboons keep a strict pecking order and usually males dominate, with the alpha male reserving top status.  With the recent spate by the authorities to cull off aggressive male baboons an interesting development appears to be taking place.  Female baboons are now honing assertive raiding skills.

14 thoughts on “Female Baboons Move up the Ranks.

    1. Yes, their social structure and behaviour is intriguing. You’re right when they’re in raiding mode they can be very intimidating, although they’re not out to harm people but rather to get at the food.

  1. That’s a remarkable set of photos, Liz. Kind of gives some perspective to the pitfalls of picnicking here in Michigan! The shot of the satisfied baboon with the kestrel in the background is something.

    It’s interesting that the females are picking up that behavior, when they wouldn’t have in normal circumstances (?).

    1. Lovely to get your feedback Sid. Got me curious about Michigan picnic scenes, thinking bugs, crisp, frisky weather? The baboons are naturally opportunistic, but there appears to be quite a shift in behaviour when the males are culled and there’s a gap before the male pecking order is reestablished, or in this case the troop has only one adult male. We’re seeing females acting independently. They haven’t got the brawn, but boy are they persistent! The sad part is that instead of tackling environment and people management to prevent raiding opportunities, the authorities take out the animals.

  2. Wonderful photographs, Liz! It’s just what we were chatting about today … the change in the female’s behaviour when the males are killed. Thank you for sharing your stunning photo’s …

    1. Yep, and we’re seeing the same pattern of raiding which get the males into trouble. How sad it is that so little attention is paid to managing the environment or in preventing people infringing the conservation regulations.

  3. Is food also scarce at the moment?

    Primates in general are highly adaptable, and these females will easily move on finding easy food themselves in the absence of males, therefore culling is not a longterm solution. And that’s what we have been talking about for long months now.

    I hope that this will be looked at with a different view from the authorities.

    1. Hi Nehmat, no there is a plentiful supply of natural food! Personally i think the authorities should be targeting better environment and people management to prevent the aggressive raiding patterns from occurring in the first place.

  4. A very interesting post. I didn’t know the baboons could come so close to people. They don’t seem to be afraid at all !

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