loading page

With controlled animal feeding: Roads Traversing Protected Areas do not affect feeding and foraging behaviour of yellow baboon
  • +1
  • Amani Kitegile,
  • Dawn Hawkins,
  • Shombe Hassan,
  • Guy Norton
Amani Kitegile
Sokoine University of Agriculture

Corresponding Author:akitegile@sua.ac.tz

Author Profile
Dawn Hawkins
Anglia Ruskin University Faculty of Science and Technology
Author Profile
Shombe Hassan
Sokoine University of Agriculture College of Forestry Wildlife and Tourism
Author Profile
Guy Norton
Animal Behaviour Research Unit
Author Profile


The Tanzania-Zambia (TANZAM) Highway traversing Mikumi National Park (MINAPA) has been a concern for wildlife managers since it was first paved in 1973-74. After its upgrade in 1989-90, researchers have documented increasing traffic resulting in considerable animal injuries and mortalities. Yellow baboons in MINAPA are known to use the road as their bridge to and from foraging areas, therefore in addition to the risk of mortality; road use could potentially have significant influence on their feeding behaviour. However, knowledge on the influences of the TANZAM highway in the feeding behaviour of the baboons is sparse. Using focal animal sampling techniques, we collected data on feeding and foraging behaviour of two habituated troops of yellow baboons to examine to what extent the TANZAM highway is important in their feeding and foraging behaviour. Results showed that in relation to habitat availability, visitation to habitat types reflect actual habitat choice of baboons. In general, baboons less frequently visit and spent less time in the highway compared to natural habitats. Whenever they were on the highway, adult females and subadult males engage more into feeding, resting and socializing, while adult males were more vigilant. The major dietary compositions were fruits, seeds, leaves, sap and invertebrates, almost exclusively collected from natural habitats, foods from the highway were opportunistically consumed. This study provides empirical evidence and concludes that yellow baboons do not directly depend on the highway for food, rather they use the TANZAM highway as normal part of their home range. The TANZAM highway is used because it improves visibility and reduces the perceived predation risk compared to natural habitats. However, its location near sleeping sites may have significant impact on baboons’ activity budget. With these findings, we recommend strict implementation of rules against park littering and animal feeding in protected areas traversed by highways.
29 Mar 2022Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
30 Mar 2022Submission Checks Completed
30 Mar 2022Assigned to Editor
21 Apr 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
05 May 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
09 May 2022Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
03 Jul 20221st Revision Received
04 Jul 2022Submission Checks Completed
04 Jul 2022Assigned to Editor
04 Jul 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
23 Aug 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
06 Sep 2022Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
20 Sep 20222nd Revision Received
20 Sep 2022Submission Checks Completed
20 Sep 2022Assigned to Editor
20 Sep 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
21 Sep 2022Editorial Decision: Accept