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E3 Journal of Environmental Research and Management

E3 Journal of Environmental Research and Management Vol. 4 (10) pp. 0334-0343, November 2013; © E3 Journals; ISSN 2141-7466

Ecological habitat assessment: the selection of a re-introduction site for yellow baboons (papio cynocephalus) in Kasungu national park, Malawi

Valentine Buh Ebua 1 * , Tsi Evaristus Agwafo 1 , Mpoame Mbida 1 *
1 Department of Animal Biology
2 Interdisciplinary Laboratory of Wildlife and Nature Protection, Department of Forestry, University of Dschang
*Corresponding Author E-mail: Faculty of Science, University of Dschang
Accepted 2 November 2013


Four ecological habitats were identified as possible release sites for the re-introduction of rehabilitated Yellow Baboons into Kasungu National Park. The aim was to choose a site with the best habitat quality that could be viable to sustain a group of 28 yellow baboons in the wild after many years of captivity. Of the four sites chosen, one of the sites (Dwangwa) had existing baboons and it was surveyed to better understand the ecology of yellow baboons in the area thus acted as a prototype. Knowledge gained in this site guided us in carefully choosing the best release site from the other three sites: Lisanthu, Kachenje and Lower Lingadzi. Surveys were conducted for one year in all the four sites. Of the three potential sites, Lisanthu was the best because it provided sufficient food and water resources, had a low density of predators, was from a reasonable distance (21 Km) to the nearest human settlement, had good sleeping and predator avoidance sites for yellow baboons and could be adequately protected. Botanical surveys identified 24 tree species including more than 100 yellow baboon foods available with water in this site throughout the year. This site also had a low density of resident yellow baboon population. Although the area had experienced and had evidence of poaching, the implementation of conservation and the creation of a research and ranger camps in the Park in 2009 increased the level of protection both for yellow baboons and wildlife.

Keywords: Ecological habitat assessment, yellow baboons, release site, re-introduction Kasungu National Park

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