Behavioural and isotope ecology of marine-foraging chacma baboons (Papio ursinus) on the Cape Peninsula, South Africa

 

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dc.contributor.advisor O'Riain, M Justin en_ZA
dc.contributor.advisor West, Adam en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Lewis, Matthew Charles en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2015-12-04T19:33:10Z
dc.date.available 2015-12-04T19:33:10Z
dc.date.issued 2015 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Lewis, M. 2015. Behavioural and isotope ecology of marine-foraging chacma baboons (Papio ursinus) on the Cape Peninsula, South Africa. University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/15610
dc.description.abstract The dominant vegetation type on the Cape Peninsula, South Africa, is an oligotrophic shrub land that supports low numbers of medium-sized and large terrestrial mammals. Of these, only the adaptable and dextrous chacma baboon (Papio ursinus) has learnt to supplement its diet with protein-rich foods from the marine intertidal zone. There are qualitative descriptions of this behaviour in the literature, but the relative contribution of marine foods to baboon diet, the influence of lunar cycles on exploitation and the impacts of marine foraging on ranging behaviour and activity budgets through different seasons have yet to be quantified. Furthermore, all previous studies included data from troops that had access to nutrient-rich exotic foods, which may have reduced their reliance on marine organisms. For this thesis I collected behavioural data on ranging patterns, activity budgets and diet of a free-ranging, natural-foraging troop through full lunar tidal cycles over consecutive seasons. I supplemented the behavioural data with estimates of the troop's diet composition modelled from stable isotope ratios of foods, faeces and hair samples. The troop ranged over 45.262km2 and travelled an average of 6.044 km per day over the study period. The troop's activity budget was dominated by walking and feeding behaviour, both of which peaked during the hot, dry summer months. Both spatial and behavioural data suggest that the study troop is nutrient-stressed relative to other troops in this population, and hence it was surprising that they only consumed small amounts of marine foods during all four seasons. Models incorporating δ13C and δ15N values of baboon faeces and hair confirmed that marine foods were not major dietary items for these baboons, whilst generalized additive models revealed that a range of abiotic factors negatively affect the exploitation of marine foods. Both the probability and intensity of marine foraging within a given hour declined with increasing tide height and swell height, and fluctuated depending on wind speed and direction. Intensity of marine foraging varied through seasons (it was highest in autumn and lowest in spring), and was higher on the east coast than on the west. Together, these results suggest that exploitation of nutrient-rich foods in the intertidal zone is limited by rapid, unpredictable changes inaccessibility. The levels of deviance left unexplained by these models however imply that other as yet unknown factors (e.g. alkaloids in mussels and limpets) may also limit the troop's exploitation of marine foods. In conclusion, this thesis represents the first in-depth study of marine foraging, a behaviour which exemplifies baboons' remarkable behavioural and dietary flexibility. That said, the temporal unpredictability of ease of access, and potential dangers associated with harvesting this resource, appear to limit how much of this high nutrient food resource baboons are able utilise. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.subject.other Biological Sciences en_ZA
dc.title Behavioural and isotope ecology of marine-foraging chacma baboons (Papio ursinus) on the Cape Peninsula, South Africa en_ZA
dc.type Doctoral Thesis
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Science en_ZA
dc.publisher.department Department of Biological Sciences en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral
dc.type.qualificationname PhD en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image
dc.identifier.apacitation Lewis, M. C. (2015). <i>Behavioural and isotope ecology of marine-foraging chacma baboons (Papio ursinus) on the Cape Peninsula, South Africa</i>. (Thesis). University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Science ,Department of Biological Sciences. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/11427/15610 en_ZA
dc.identifier.chicagocitation Lewis, Matthew Charles. <i>"Behavioural and isotope ecology of marine-foraging chacma baboons (Papio ursinus) on the Cape Peninsula, South Africa."</i> Thesis., University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Science ,Department of Biological Sciences, 2015. http://hdl.handle.net/11427/15610 en_ZA
dc.identifier.vancouvercitation Lewis MC. Behavioural and isotope ecology of marine-foraging chacma baboons (Papio ursinus) on the Cape Peninsula, South Africa. [Thesis]. University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Science ,Department of Biological Sciences, 2015 [cited yyyy month dd]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/11427/15610 en_ZA
dc.identifier.ris TY - Thesis / Dissertation AU - Lewis, Matthew Charles AB - The dominant vegetation type on the Cape Peninsula, South Africa, is an oligotrophic shrub land that supports low numbers of medium-sized and large terrestrial mammals. Of these, only the adaptable and dextrous chacma baboon (Papio ursinus) has learnt to supplement its diet with protein-rich foods from the marine intertidal zone. There are qualitative descriptions of this behaviour in the literature, but the relative contribution of marine foods to baboon diet, the influence of lunar cycles on exploitation and the impacts of marine foraging on ranging behaviour and activity budgets through different seasons have yet to be quantified. Furthermore, all previous studies included data from troops that had access to nutrient-rich exotic foods, which may have reduced their reliance on marine organisms. For this thesis I collected behavioural data on ranging patterns, activity budgets and diet of a free-ranging, natural-foraging troop through full lunar tidal cycles over consecutive seasons. I supplemented the behavioural data with estimates of the troop's diet composition modelled from stable isotope ratios of foods, faeces and hair samples. The troop ranged over 45.262km2 and travelled an average of 6.044 km per day over the study period. The troop's activity budget was dominated by walking and feeding behaviour, both of which peaked during the hot, dry summer months. Both spatial and behavioural data suggest that the study troop is nutrient-stressed relative to other troops in this population, and hence it was surprising that they only consumed small amounts of marine foods during all four seasons. Models incorporating δ13C and δ15N values of baboon faeces and hair confirmed that marine foods were not major dietary items for these baboons, whilst generalized additive models revealed that a range of abiotic factors negatively affect the exploitation of marine foods. Both the probability and intensity of marine foraging within a given hour declined with increasing tide height and swell height, and fluctuated depending on wind speed and direction. Intensity of marine foraging varied through seasons (it was highest in autumn and lowest in spring), and was higher on the east coast than on the west. Together, these results suggest that exploitation of nutrient-rich foods in the intertidal zone is limited by rapid, unpredictable changes inaccessibility. The levels of deviance left unexplained by these models however imply that other as yet unknown factors (e.g. alkaloids in mussels and limpets) may also limit the troop's exploitation of marine foods. In conclusion, this thesis represents the first in-depth study of marine foraging, a behaviour which exemplifies baboons' remarkable behavioural and dietary flexibility. That said, the temporal unpredictability of ease of access, and potential dangers associated with harvesting this resource, appear to limit how much of this high nutrient food resource baboons are able utilise. DA - 2015 DB - OpenUCT DP - University of Cape Town LK - https://open.uct.ac.za PB - University of Cape Town PY - 2015 T1 - Behavioural and isotope ecology of marine-foraging chacma baboons (Papio ursinus) on the Cape Peninsula, South Africa TI - Behavioural and isotope ecology of marine-foraging chacma baboons (Papio ursinus) on the Cape Peninsula, South Africa UR - http://hdl.handle.net/11427/15610 ER - en_ZA


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