This is the most extensively distributed of the baboons, ranging throughout the Sahelian woodland and forest-mosaic habitats from southern Mauritania and Mali to the Sudan and southwards to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania. Outlying populations inhabit the Tibesti and Air massifs in the Sahara. In East Africa, the distribution is actively changing. Wherever the range of this species encounters that of other species there are hybrid zones and a strong implication that it is a species which is still in a phase of active expansion. For example, it forms a narrow hybrid zone with P. hamadryas below the Awash Falls and elsewhere in northern Ethiopia, and hybridizes with P. cynocephalus in the eastern part of Tsavo and Amboseli National Parks in Kenya. There is a broad clinal hybrid zone of P. anubis x P. cynocephalus between Laikipia District, just to the north-east and east of Mt. Kenya, and the Lower Tana River, Kenya coast. Baboons in this >200-km wide region are intermediate and cannot be readily allocated to either P. anubis or P. cynocephalus (baboons become increasingly “yellow-like” in their phenotypes towards the Kenya Coast; T. Butynski and Y. de Jong pers. comm.). Papio anubis x P. cynocephalus are found in the Pare and Usambara Mountains in Tanzania, and elsewhere sporadically along a north-east/south-west trending line across the region. It is possible that this species has caused the ranges of neighbouring, smaller baboon species to contract. Sympatric with Cercopithecus pygerythrus, Erythrocebus patas and Cercopithecus mitis (T. Butynski and Y. de Jong pers. comm.). Ranges to 2,500 m asl (T. Butynski and Y. de Jong pers. comm.).
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