In 2019, I started a project on the Swebeswebe Wildlife Estate, Limpopo Province, South Africa. This site is home to chacma baboons, vervet monkeys, and bush babies, to name only the primates. Considering the highly variable climate, seasonality, and prolonged periods of drought, the Waterberg district of the Limpopo Province represents an excellent opportunity to examine how these primates respond to climatic, ecological and social stress.
This population of chacma baboons faces a novel suite of ecological pressures, namely high predation pressure combined with occupancy of a single shared sleeping site. We will take advantage of this to explore how these factors shape socio-spatial dynamics, and whether they promote the kinds of inter-troop coordination and higher-level social linkages that might presage the emergence of multilevel societies.
For more information on this project, or if you want to become part of this project, here are some links: