Distribution and population estimate for the chacma baboon (Papio ursinus) in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa Academic Article uri icon


  • We report the current species distribution and population estimate for the chacma baboon (Papio ursinus) in KwaZulu-Natal Province (KZN), South Africa, based on an analysis of estimated area of occupancy and estimated home range size. This estimate suggests a total population size of approximately 11,000 individuals for KZN. Much of the province is uninhabited, with a density in occupied areas of approximately 1.8 animals per km(2). The current population size may be more than an order of magnitude smaller than historical population size. Chacma baboons now exhibit a highly fragmented and discontinuous distribution in KZN, with 58% of the population residing within protected areas, and more than half of these troops reside in areas >1,500 m above average sea level. The small population and highly fragmented distribution of chacma baboons in KZN, combined with rapidly increasing human population size and transformation of natural habitat, suggest this species requires greater conservation attention.


publication date

  • October 2012