Collared hyenas
Issue 3 (November 2008) Research in the Sperrgebiet of south-west Namibia has found that hyenas have a hunting sphere of up to 3900 square kilometers.

 

Dr Ingrid Wiesel of The Brown Hyena Research Project has fitted thirteen brown hyenas and one spotted hyena with GPS collars. The technology is used to find out where the animals roam. Brown hyenas have a home range between 200 and 3000 square kilometres. Coastal brown hyenas, which feast on seal pups, have much smaller home ranges than those living inland. The collared spotted hyena forages within a vast 3900 square kilometres in the northeastern part of the Sperrgebiet.


The data from GPS collars can detect changes in hyena behaviour in areas where land is being developed. Dr Wiesel has found that hyenas usually avoid land that has been recently disturbed (such as for mining), although some areas seem to have become an attraction to hyenas, particularly water near sewerage systems.


Recently, data from the GPS collars made it possible to exclude hyenas as the culprits when livestock was killed on farms bordering the national parks.

 

• For more information go to www.predatorconservation.com

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