Determinants of Olive Baboons Food Choice in Kainji Lake National Park Nigeria


ODEBIYI, B. R , HALIDU, S. K , ADEWALE, R. O , Solana, O.I. ,

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Volume 4 - February 2020 (02)


Olive baboons (Papio anubis) are ecologically flexible and generalist feeders yet selective in choice of diet. Insufficient information on the plants consumed by olive baboons and their dietary preference hinders appropriate and deliberate conservation measures. This study therefore identified the plant species, dominant plant part consumed by olive baboons in Kainji Lake National Park (KLNP), Nigeria and unravelled the basis for their predominant diet choice. Direct observation method was used to record food plant species and plant parts consumed by olive baboons in KLNP for a period of 24 months. Twenty two plant species belonging to 16 families were identified. Plant parts consumed by olive baboons included fruits (92.0%), tuber (4%) and roots (4%). Fruit was the dominant plant part consumed by olive baboons. All year round availability, avoidance of conspecific competition and predation, energy cost, nutritional consideration, immune system stability and reduced risk of parasitic infection were the determining factors of olive baboon fruit propensity. Olive baboons` frugivorous tendency has far reaching ecological implications with attendant effect on seed dispersal, seed treatment, seed predation, food provisioning, food competition and food scarcity among other sympatric animals. There is need for research into these ecological interactions and other implications of olive baboons`frugivorous propensity.


food, olive baboon, frugivory, Kainji Lake National Park 


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