Spotted Hyaena: Social Behavior

The spotted hyaena is one the most highly gregarious of all carnivores; it lives in groups containing up to 90 individuals, and exhibits the most complex social behaviour. These animals live in social groups called clans that defend group territories. The society is characterised by a strict dominance hierarchy. The rank ordering among the adult… Continue reading Spotted Hyaena: Social Behavior

Spotted Hyaena (Crocuta crocuta)

These animals weigh 45-85 kg as adults, depending on sex (males weigh less than females) and capture location (hyaenas in southern Africa are larger than those in other parts of Africa). Spotted hyaenas are hunters and scavengers and can even chase lions away from their kills. Spotted hyaenas are intelligent, noisy, and gregarious, living in… Continue reading Spotted Hyaena (Crocuta crocuta)

Spotted Hyena: Diet and Foraging

The spotted hyaena is still widely regarded as a scavenger that picks up leftovers at the kills of other carnivores (cheetah, leopard, lion) or feeds on carrion. However, this is not correct: all studies demonstrate that the spotted hyaena is an efficient predator in its own right. Although spotted hyenas will scavenge opportunistically, they kill… Continue reading Spotted Hyena: Diet and Foraging

Spotted Hyaena: Distribution and Habitat

Spotted hyaenas are the most abundant large carnivore in Africa. Since the late 1990s, confirmed records of C. crocuta have come from Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Congo, Sudan, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Mali, Senegal, and Sierra Leone. Although spotted hyaenas occur throughout sub-Saharan Africa, their density varies… Continue reading Spotted Hyaena: Distribution and Habitat

Spotted Hyaena: Association with other species

The spotted hyaena most frequently competes with the lion for kills (Kruuk 1972a, Schaller 1972a, Bearder 1977, Eaton 1979). Dominance relations between the spotted hyaena and competing species are not absolute but depend on the numerical presence of both parties. For instance, lions usually displace spotted hyaenas at kills. However, if hyaena group size is… Continue reading Spotted Hyaena: Association with other species

Spotted Hyaena: Status and Conservation

Threats The spotted hyena has been, and still is, widely shot, poisoned, trapped, and snared, even inside some protected areas. Persecution most often occurs in farming areas after confirmed or assumed damage to livestock, or as a preventative measure to protect livestock. However, it may also take place “for fun” and as “target practice” (Namibia,… Continue reading Spotted Hyaena: Status and Conservation