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Brown Hyaena: Status and Conservation

Brown Hyaena: Status and Conservation

Because it is often overlooked, numbers and distribution records may in fact underestimate its distribution and population size. Given this proviso, the results of the questionnaire survey administered by the Specialist Group, and an evaluation of published information and different surveys, suggest that a tentative estimate of the total worldwide population size is at a minimum of 5,000 to 8,000…

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Brown Hyaena: Physical Description

Brown Hyaena: Physical Description

This medium-sized, dog-like animal has long forelegs and well developed forequarters, but weak hindquarters and a sloping back. The pelage is long, shaggy and dark brown to black except around the neck and shoulders, which are white. The underparts are light coloured, and the lower forefeet and hindfeet have white stripes. The ears are long and pointed. Adults usually weigh…

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Brown Hyaena (Parahyaena brunnea)

Brown Hyaena (Parahyaena brunnea)

Statistics  Weight: 45 kgFeeding Habits: Brown hyaenas prefer to dine on carrion, wild fruits, insects and eggs.  Brown hyaenas rarely kill small animals.  Small livestock, particularly young, can be protected from brown hyaenas and jackals at night by being placed in bush enclosures. Although brown hyaenas are solitary when looking for food, family members share a territory. Some males are…

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Brown Hyaena: Diet and Foraging

Brown Hyaena: Diet and Foraging

The brown hyaena is primarily a scavenger of a wide range of vertebrate remains; carrion is supplemented by wild fruit, insects, birds’ eggs and the occasional small animal, which is killed. In the southern Kalahari vertebrate prey killed by brown hyaenas make up only 4.2% of the food items eaten (Mills 1990). These were all small animals such as springhare,…

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Brown Hyaena: Distribution and Habitat

Brown Hyaena: Distribution and Habitat

The brown hyaena inhabits the South West Arid Zone of Africa (Smithers 1983). The largest remaining populations are in the southern Kalahari and the coastal areas in Southwest Africa. The brown hyaena is found in desert areas with annual rainfall less than 100 mm, particularly along the coast, semi-desert, open scrub, and open woodland savannah with a maximum rainfall up…

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Brown Hyaena: Social Behavior

Brown Hyaena: Social Behavior

Brown hyaenas live in small social groups, called ‘clans.’ Clans range in size from a solitary female and her cubs to groups containing several females and their offspring of different ages. Some of the largest clans of brown hyaenas reported to date occur along the Namibian coast, where clans of 12-13 individuals are supported seasonally by carrion from huge numbers…

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Brown Hyaena: Reproduction

Brown Hyaena: Reproduction

The brown hyaena is a polyoestrous, non-seasonal breeder with anoestrous occurring during lactation. The gestation period is approximately 97 days and mean litter size is 2.3 (range: 1-5 cubs) (Mills 1982b). Both nomadic and immigrant males may mate and all adult females in a clan may reproduce, although the matriarch apparently produces more cubs than other female clan members.  …

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Brown Hyaena: Association with other species

Brown Hyaena: Association with other species

Over much of its range, the brown hyaena lives in association with other carnivorous animals and benefits from many of them by scavenging from their kills. Lion kills provide many scavenging opportunities for brown hyaenas, although they are dominated and even sometimes killed by lions. The brown hyaena is usually dominant over the leopard, cheetah, caracal, and black-backed jackal. Competition…

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Gallery: Brown hyaena

Gallery: Brown hyaena
A brown hyaena chases seal pups along the coast of Namibia. Photo by Barbara Kolar c/o Brown Hyena Research Project. A brown hyaena drags a zebra carcass. Photo by Glyn Maude. Brown hyaenas feed from a gemsbok carcass. Photo by Gus Mills. An adult female brown hyaena with her cub. Photo by Gus Mills. A brown hyaena carries the carcass…

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