Chacma Baboon {Papio ursinus}

Chacma Baboons are the largest of the baboons

South Africa WildlifeThe Chacma Baboon {Papio ursinus}

Chacma Baboons are the largest of the baboons. Chacma baboons have dark yellowish-grey to dark brown and almost black fur. Their faces are black with white hair below the eyes and on the muzzle.

The Chacma Baboon is a large primate with a dog-like face and large, prominent canines. A mature male measures 1.5 m from head to tail and weighs up to 33 kg, whereas the more slender female measures 1.1 m and has a mass of about 15 kg.

Quick Facts

Size

Body length: 58-76cm, Tail length: 58-64cm, Weight: 15-20kg.

Habitat

Woodland, grassland, acacia scrub and semi-desert habitats, including small hills, seaside cliffs and mountains up to 2980m, near to a freshwater source.

Distribution

Southern Africa. In South Africa they are common in the Drakensberg, Cape Fynbos region and Succulent Karoo.

Diet - Omnivores

Grass, roots, tubers, fruits, nuts, invertebrates, small birds and mammals, and crustaceans when near the coast.

Socialisation

Highly sociable animals, Chacma Baboons live in groups of four to 200 individuals. Chacma baboons have variable social structures. They live in multi-male and multi-female groups or multi-female groups with one male. Chacma Baboons are diurnal and spend most of their time on the ground.

Reproduction

After a gestation period of 187 days, females give birth to one infant.

Life Expectancy

30 years in the wild, up to 40 years in captivity.

Predators

  • Leopards
  • Lions
  • Hyenas
  • Jackals
  • Rock Pythons
  • Large Eagles
  • Cheetahs
  • Humans - There are no major threats to this species, although problem animals may be shot as vermin. Animals are also hunted locally as parts of dead baboons are offered for sale in markets in South Africa for traditional medicinal use, but this is not considered a major threat.

Threats

There are no major threats, but problem animals are often shot as vermin. They are also hunted locally as parts of dead baboons are sold in markets for traditional medicinal use, but this is not considered a major threat.

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Chacma Baboon
Conservation Status

  • Least Concern (IUCN)
  • Although they are not listed as threatened or endangered, populations in the Cape Peninsula are considered to be potentially threatened and should be monitored and protected. (Ref: Sanbi)

South Africa's Big Five

Did you know?

Chacma Baboons primary enemy is the leopard: when one is spotted the baboon lets off hysterical screams and barks, which usually causes the leopard to flee.

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