Baboon Matters Trust Position Statement
The Baboon Matters Trust is dedicated to the preservation of baboons over South Africa, and believes that through education and advocacy it is possible for humans and other primates to learn to co-exist.
In the face of rapid human encroachment over the remaining wilderness areas of Southern Africa the conflict between man and wildlife has potential to escalate. It is our goal to find effective ways of managing humans so that lethal management of so- called problem animals becomes a thing of the past.
In the Western Cape authorities battle with on-going issues of responsibility and budgets, and have regrettably fallen to seeking solutions to management problems through the removal of individual animals. This short-term action brings with it many long-term problems and it is the belief of the Baboon Matters Trust that removal of individual animals often exacerbates management problems rather than solving them.
Further, it is our belief that use of ‘tools’ such as bear bangers, paintball guns, whips and the like may offer potential short-term relief for very specific problem areas, but the long term detrimental message given to the general public, and negative impact on baboons and their behaviour by the promotion and use of such tools far out-weighs any minor, and short-term benefit.
It is our belief that the underlying aggression associated with the use of ‘tools’ such as bear bangers, whips and paintball guns will undoubtedly lead to a far more antagonistic approach to the baboons and that the use of such tools will cause the troops to split; residents to ‘take matters into their own hands’; and create a chaotic state within the villages – thus making effective management even more difficult.
Experience has taught us that there is no quick fix solution, and certainly no effective ‘one solution’ that will have benefit in every scenario. With that in mind, the Baboon Matters Trust urges the authorities to concentrate efforts on the following:
- Effective training of Baboon Monitors
- Ensuring that the Baboon Monitor program follows strategies specific to each area, and uses adaptive management to evaluate and measure the success of strategies.
- On-going education amongst residents, businesses and visitors to areas affected by baboons.
- Immediate law enforcement for residents, business and visitors who negatively impact on the baboons.