An Investigation of the Behaviour of Pregnant and Lactating Baboons (Papio Anubis) in Gashaka Gumti National Park, Nigeria

  • C Akosim
  • U Buba
  • PO Egwumah
Keywords: Baboon, behavioural pattern, pregnant and lactating, Gashaka Gumti National Park

Abstract

This study was designed to investigate the behaviour of pregnant and lactating baboons, which could affect the social system. Using the one-minute and fifteen-minute fixed-point focal sampling technique, each focal animal was followed and behavioural patterns were observed and recorded for a period of six months. The behavioural patterns observed included social, feeding, reproductive, post-partum, movement, and roosting behaviours. However, there was a significant difference (p<0.05) in the behaviour of females within and between states in the same group and between the two troops. The percentage groups spread away from pregnant and lactating females were found to be increasing with a corresponding increase in the distance- intervals. Pregnant and lactating females were found to be associating mostly with adult females and infants in the presence of an alpha male or a contesting male. Group interaction under some activity budgets with pregnant and lactating females at various distance intervals was significant (p<0.05) within =1m but there was no significant difference (p>0.05) in the group interaction with the focal animals at distance-intervals =1m to =5m, =5m to =10m, and =10. The results of suckling behaviour indicate that infants spent more time suckling at Kwano site (52%) than infants at Gashaka site (48%). However, infants at Gashaka site suckle more frequently (4 times/day) than Kwano (2 times/day). The findings of this study indicate that individual and group behavioural patterns, group spread of members of the troop from focal animals, association of focal animals with individuals of the troop and group interaction under various activity budgets with the focal animals were functions of individual or group behavioural patterns while suckling bouts of infants at the two sites was a function of availability of quality and abundant food. It is therefore, recommended that further studies on the two troops at the two sites be carried out with the females when they are neither pregnant nor lactating.
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