How Many Types Of Baboons Are There? Where Do They Live?

A heartwarming picture of a baboon family.
A heartwarming picture of a baboon family.

Baboons are Old World monkeys of Africa and Arabia that belong to the Papio genus. There are five extant species of baboons discussed below. These species are some of the biggest non-hominoid members belonging to the primate order.

5. Olive Baboon -

The olive baboon or the Anubis baboon (Papio anubis) is a baboon species that is found in 25 countries across Africa and is thus the most widespread of all baboon species. Within its wide range, it inhabits forests, steppes, and savannahs. The olive baboon is named so for its coat color which appears green-gray from a distance, but a closer inspection reveals a multicolored coat. The name Anubis baboon comes from the dog-like muzzle of the animal similar to that of the Egyptian God Anubis. The facial hair of the baboon ranges from dark gray to black. Males of this species have a mane of longer hair. Males are about 70 cm tall while females are about 60 cm in height. The olive baboon is a Least Concern species due to its wide distribution. It also faces few threats, but cases of persecution by humans occurs when it is treated as a crop-raiding pest.

4. Yellow Baboon -

The yellow baboon (Papio cynocephalus) is one of the five species of the baboon that lives in the light forests and savannahs of eastern Africa. The range of this species includes the countries of Botswana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and Kenya. The baboon has a slim body, long legs, and arms, and a yellowish-brown colored coat. The face of the yellow baboon is black with white sideburns. The animal grows to about 84 cm (males) and 60 cm (females). The yellow baboon is an omnivore that feeds on both plant parts and insects. The baboons are able to quickly adapt to new environments and survive near human settlements. However, they are often persecuted by humans as crop raiders. Habitat loss has actually forced the yellow baboons to move closer to human settlements.

3. Chacma Baboon -

The Chacma baboon or the Cape baboon (Papio ursinus) is one of the largest species of monkeys and one of the 5 species of baboons living in the world today. The Chacma baboon inhabits southern Africa with its range stretching from South Africa to Mozambique, Angola, and Zambia. The species exhibits a dominant hierarchy, friendship pairings, collective foraging, and adoption of offsprings by females. Though the Chacma baboon is generally not a threatened species, increased contact with humans and human settlements due to wild habitat destruction has triggered higher rates of mortality due to accidents, persecution, and hunting. The males of this species attain a body length that varies between 50 and 115 cm and weighs around 21 to 45 kg. The females weigh between 12 to 25 kg. The baboons possess a dark brown to gray colored coat and males of this species lack a mane. The long, downward-sloping face is the most distinguishing feature of this species of baboon.

2. Hamadryas Baboon -

The hamadryas baboon (Papio hamadryas) belongs to the Old World monkey family and is found in the Arabian Peninsula’s southwestern tip and the Horn of Africa. These baboons are the northernmost of all baboon species. The hamadryas baboon holds a special place in the Egyptian culture where it is regarded as a sacred animal with religious significance. The absence of natural predators in the region allows these baboons to thrive. The baboons exhibit sexual dimorphism in coloration. Males of this species possess a silver-white colored coat with a pronounced cape. The females are brown and capeless. The males have an average body size of about 80 cm and weigh around 20 to 30 kg. Female hamadryas baboons attain a body length of about 40–45 cm and weigh around 10–15 kg. Although these baboons are still classified under the Least Concern category in the IUCN Red List, loss of habitat due to the transformation of pasturelands and fields poses the main threat to these primates.

1. Guinea Baboon -

The Guinea baboon (Papio papio) lives in a small part of western Africa. Here, the range of these animals covers parts of Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea. In its range, the Guinea baboon inhabits dry and gallery forests and nearby bush savannas. The baboon possesses a dark-violet colored, hairless face and reddish brown body hair. The face has a typical dog-like muzzle that is surrounded by a small mane. The Guinea baboon’s tail is carried in a round arc form. The species is the smallest baboon species and weighs around 13 and 26 kg. The Guinea baboon is terrestrial, omnivorous, and diurnal by nature but lives in trees after dark. The animals live in highly organized hierarchies of about 200 individuals in each group. Due to the loss of habitat and narrow range of the Guinea baboon, the animals are classified as Near Threatened by the IUCN.


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