Presentation on theme: "HUMANE METHODS OF CAPTURE AND CARE OF NON-HUMAN PRIMATES FOR CONSERVATION AND BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH. G. M. MUCHEMI 1 and D. S. YOLE 2 1 Faculty of Veterinary."— Presentation transcript:
HUMANE METHODS OF CAPTURE AND CARE OF NON-HUMAN PRIMATES FOR CONSERVATION AND BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH. G. M. MUCHEMI 1 and D. S. YOLE 2 1 Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, UON, P.O. Box Nairobi - 2 Institute of Primate Research, P.O. Box 24481, Karen, Nairobi -
Introduction Human-wildlife conflict in Kenya is manifested in various ways. Large herbivores cause damage to crops and occasionally injure or kill humans while large carnivores predate on livestock and also cause injury or death to humans. The methods of problem animal control for large herbivores and carnivores involve use of barriers such as fences or shooting of offending animals. These methods do little to keep out primates which are highly intelligent and adaptable. Alternative and humane methods have been employed to capture primates with varying degrees of success.
Baboons in Biomedical research The authors describe a primate capture technique that they have successfully used to acquire animals for conservation and biomedical research. Apart from baboons, many primate species populations either threatened or endangered. Baboons are serious agricultural pests Baboons are ideal candidates for biomedical research, especially in the fields of reproductive biology, parasitology and clinical pathology. They have a close phylogenetic relationship to humans and have been proven to be efficient models for advanced research into human physiology.
The trapping process The first stage in the trapping process involves close liaison with Kenya Wildlife Services - (KWS), which is the licensing authority for operations of this type. They are able to advice on those areas where baboon crop raiding is a nuisance to local farmers The next phase is to locate the baboon troops. Once the troop is located, its movements are studied from dawn until dusk to give an overall picture of the troop’s feeding, drinking, resting and sleeping sites.
Trapping process cont.. After the troop’s habits are understood, a baiting and trapping site is selected on the most regular route used by the baboons. Baiting is done using shelled and cob maize for up to three weeks. The trapping program takes about six weeks.
The traps Once the baboons have become habituated to a regular feeding routine on the site, the traps are introduced. The traps are large collapsible cages 1.5m high with a 0.9m square base and a weighted door. More traps are erected than there are baboons in the troop to optimize the operation’s success. Over the next two weeks the traps themselves are baited. During habituation the trap doors are fixed open allowing free access and escape to the baboons.
Trapping operations cont.. The traps are set in the evening while the baboons are at their sleeping site to prevent them entering the cages prematurely and spoiling the operation. A platform is constructed high in the cage with a hole in it for threading a thin The other end of the thread is attached to the door via the back and top of the cage. When the baboon takes the cob, the thread breaks and the door drops. Because the platform is set high in the cage, the baboon’s tail is well out of the way when this occurs.
The transfer process Once the baboons are trapped they are transferred to holding/transport cages. The transport cage is 1 m high with 1 m square base. The baboons are then transported to a holding site and provided with shade, food and water.
The results A successful trapping usually captures up to two thirds, and occasionally the whole troop. The authors feel that this method of baboon trapping has many advantages and few shortcomings. Chances of injury to animals and handlers alike are minimized and the baboons are subjected to as little stress a possible. Survival rates of 100 percent have commonly been observed over the past 10 years using this method.