The Imfene Initiative presents a strategy to protect at-risk baboons on the Cape Peninsula, an education program to reduce the baboon-human conflict, and a platform to proactively address baboon conservation across Africa. Furthermore, Imfene aims to collate information on baboons and disseminate these data in accessible formats. Our aim is to provide up to date information on baboon biology, socio-ecology, conservation and commensalism.
The Save Awash National Park (SANP) project is the sister project of the Filoha Hamadryas Research Project. Through our research on hamadryas baboons we are able to support the SANP project and constructively contribute to the improvement and sustainablity of the Awash National Park.
Baboons are an iconic symbol of the African landscape. They are widespread and ubiquitous. Unfortunately, they are not only emblematic of the African continent, but also of the conservation challenges that we face. Baboons might seem abundant right now, but we should not allow ourselves to be deluded about their conservation status. A brief investigation into the situation faced by most baboon populations makes one thing clear: The writing is on the wall for baboons. It is only a matter of time before they appear on an endangered species list.
In a conservation sense, we have an unique opportunity with baboons. We know a great deal about their biology and socio-ecology and we are therefore well placed to make educated conservation decisions. Furthermore, they are currently still abundant. We therefore are in a position to approach their conservation from a calm perspective – a luxury, given that most conservation efforts start once a species is already on the demise.
The question is whether we are going to use this privileged position wisely or are we going to wait until baboons are on the brink of extinction and then try to bail out a sinking ship?
I am always available to discuss issues related to baboon conservation, so please feel free to drop me an email at email@example.com.
In many ways, baboons are the victim of their own success. Due to their robustness and adaptability, they are widely distributed across Africa. This in conjunction with the destruction and fragmentation of their habitat, there is an increasing overlap between human activities and baboon habitat. Baboons are therefore deemed as a pest species in many countries.
So in many instances, people only experience the negative aspects of baboons. Baboons raid their food supplies, tear the thatch from their roofs, etc. From our own experience, and from having shared our knowledge of baboons with many people, we know that it is possible to generate positive associations towards baboons once people gain insight into the marvels of baboon socio-ecology. One very important component of baboon conservation is therefore education. Education. Education!
The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.
– Isaac Asimov
The planet is running out of fresh water, the atmosphere is being filled with greenhouse gases, and we are losing somewhere between 50 and 150 species every day. What has this to do with baboons, you might ask. Simple. It is the same careless attitude that we express towards baboons that has caused the aforementioned crises. Our environmental capital will continue to deteriorate if this attitude persists.
If we can improve our conservation attitude towards baboons, then maybe, just maybe, we're one step closer towards improving our relationship with our environment more generally.