Nutrition, Body Condition, Activity Patterns, and Parasitism of Free-Ranging Troops of Olive Baboons (Papio anubis) in Kenya
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Three troops of olive baboons (Papio anubis) comprising 134 animals were captured during a translocation program. All three troops (PEG, CRIP, WBY) lived in high-altitude savannah, but two (CRIP and WBY) abo frequented human settlements, where they had access to the garbage pits and vegetable gardens. The translocation offered the opportunity to compare body condition, activity patterns, and parasitism among the troops of animals. A variety of body measurements were taken, a physical examination performed, activity patterns for the previous 2 years enumerated, and blood and feces collected for virological and parasitological analyses. Body condition, as judged qualitatively by appearance and quantitatively by subcutaneous fat thickness and body weight, was lowest in PEG, the naturally foraging troop. All animals were negative for all viruses. No blood-borne parasites were found, but the feces of the majority of animals were positive for eggs of strongyles, ascarids, Trichuris spp., and Strongy¬loides spp. Quantification of strongyles indicated the heaviest burdens were in the non provisioned troop PHG. These results when combined with the behavioral observations that PHG spent more time foraging and less time resting or socializing than WBY suggest lowered availability and/or a poorer quality ofPHG's diet. The data support the hypothesis of a causal relationship between host nutrition and helminth parasite infection but do not permit general conclusions to be drawn on mechanisms of interaction.