Population status, Distribution and Behavioural ecology of the Gelada baboon (Theropithecus gelada) and conflicts with humans in Wonchit Valley, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


A study on gelada baboon (Theropithecus gelada) was carried out to estimate the population status and to determine the seasonal distribution and human – gelada baboon conflict in Wonchit Valley. A band of gelada baboon was selected to study behavioural ecology. The study was carried out from August 2008 to March 2009. Total count method was used to determine the population status and seasonal distribution of gelada baboons. Data on human – gelada conflict was collected using questionnaire interview method. The data were compared using chi-square test. The total average number of gelada baboon in the study area was 1525 during the course of the study. There was seasonal variation in the distribution of gelada baboon across different habitat types. Adult male : adult female sex ratio was 1.00:6.61. The average size of the band was 58.03. The average size of one-male unit was 16.96. The range of group size was from 3 up to 220. They spent 65.18% for feeding, 16.32% moving, 4.59% resting, 13.91% socializing. The home range size was 1.54 km2 during the dry season and 0.22 km2 during the wet season. The total time spent feeding on grass blade was 83.75% and it was 11.75% for bulbs, roots and rhizomes. Gelada baboons in the study area caused crop damage, sharing drinking water and livestock pasture and destroying the grazing pasture by digging. Among the respondents 85.33% had negative attitude towards gelada baboon. Among them 41.33% guard their cereal crops for 6 months. Gelada baboon eats crops during harvesting stage more than in the seedling and vegetative stage of the crops. Key words: Distribution, Gelada baboon, human – gelada baboon conflict, population status, Wonchit Valley



Distribution, Gelada baboon, human – gelada baboon conflict, population status,, Wonchit Valley