Measuring success in primate translocation: A baboon case study


  • Shirley C. Strum

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Anthropology, University of California–San Diego, La Jolla, California
    2. Institute of Primate Research, Nairobi, Kenya
    • Department of Anthropology, University of California–San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093–0532. During January–March and July–December, address correspondence to: Shirley C. Strum, Box 62844, Nairobi 00200, Kenya
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Translocation of primates is still a rare event. The translocation in 1984 of two research groups of wild baboons that had been studied for 12 years prior to translocation and observed for 18 years afterwards offers a comprehensive set of data with which to evaluate success. A comparison with indigenous baboon troops at the release site provides an independent control for assessing performance in the release area. Two success criteria are developed with the use of indicator measures that include birth rate, death rate, patterns of mortality and survivorship, body condition, intestinal parasites, and group size. The baboon translocation succeeded according to both criteria: the two troops were saved by the translocation, and they did as well or better than could be expected in their new home. Their performance matched or exceeded that of translocated groups of other primate species. Am. J. Primatol. 65:117–140, 2005. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.