- Common Name
- Guinea baboon, yellow baboon
- Genus Species
- Papio papio
- Smallest of the baboon species, they have reddish-brown fur; black face; yellow-brown sideburns; tail carried in round arc
Male: nape and shoulder hair long in adult males, forming light hood
- Male: 50 to 83 cm (1.6 to 2.8 ft.)
Female: 45 to 70 cm (1.5 to 2.3 ft.)
- Male: 13 to 26 kg (28.6 to 57 lbs.)
Female: 13 to 26 kg (28.6 to 57 lbs.)
- Grass, greens, seeds, fruits, tubers, roots, leaves, nuts, cereals, invertebrates, young birds, small mammals
- 184 days
- Estral Period
- 29 days
- Nursing Duration
- 420 days
- Sexual Maturity
- Male: approximately 4 years
Female: approximately 4 years
- Life Span
- 35 to 45 years
- Western equatorial Africa
- Dry forests, gallery forests, and adjoining bush savannas or steppes
- Global: Unknown
- IUCN: Lower Risk/Near Threatened
CITES: Appendix II
USFWS: Not listed
- Guinea baboons are found in grassy, rocky, and steppe habitats in western Africa. They live in troops of up to 200 individuals, each with a set place in a hierarchy. Group living provides protection from predators such as lions and hyenas. Baboons are omnivores, eating almost anything available, which allows them to occupy areas with few resources or harsh conditions. Their presence may help improve habitats because they dig for water and spread seeds in their waste, encouraging plant growth.
- Baboons live everywhere in Africa where they can find drinking water. They have dog-like muzzles and limb modifications which allow them to walk long distances on the ground.
- Baboons can be an important food source for other animals. Some of the largest eagles will feed on them or their young. The African crowned hawk eagle will often hunt in pairs. One swoops and perches among a troop of baboons, and while they mob it, the mate swoops from behind and picks up an unwary baboon.
- Mother-daughter bonds among baboons last into adulthood. The maternal bond with sons lasts until sexual maturity, when juvenile males leave their natal group to enter another group or become solitary.
- The social structure of Guinea baboons is multi-leveled. Adult males maintain separate social units, containing females, juveniles, and sub-adult males.
- Guinea baboons are highly communicative animals. They communicate with one another by using a variety of vocalizations and physical interactions. In addition to vocalizations to one another, these animals have vocal communications apparently intended to be received and interpreted by predators.
Ecology and Conservation
Guinea baboons likely play a role in soil aeration through the digging of roots and tubers. They are also likely to disperse the seeds of the fruits and grains they eat. They also serve as a prey item for their predators.
As crop-growing areas are extended throughout Africa, baboons may take to raiding crops, which leaves them vulnerable to farmers viewing them as pests.
Survival of many baboon species has become a matter of preserving the ecosystems in which they live, in large enough patches to allow viable populations to survive. Successful management depends upon controlling human encroachment.
Macdonald, D. (ed.). The Encyclopedia of Mammals. Vol 1. London: Equinox Ltd., 1984.
Parker, S. (ed.). Grizmeks Encyclopedia of Mammals. Vol II. New York: McGraw-Hill Publishing Co., 1990.