Save South Africa's Brown Hyaenas

$600 $2,895
Raised Remaining


This project is trying to improve the odds for brown hyaenas in and near Pilanesberg National Park. Despite their traditional bad reputation, brown hyaenas are actually social mammals living in tight-knit clans; members will even help suckle each other's young. Like other carnivores and large scavengers, brown hyaenas suffer from shrinking habitats and conflict with humans. Learning more about what they need to survive in and near protected areas will help save the remaining 1,700 living in SA.

What is the issue, problem, or challenge?

The land around protected areas is being increasingly developed, and hyaenas that venture into neighboring farmland and game ranches are at risk of being poisoned, trapped, or hunted down as pests.

How will this project solve this problem?

Volunteers survey protected and unprotected lands for brown hyaenas and other scavengers critical for any ecosystem. Surveys by foot and vehicle look not only for hyaenas, vultures, and insects but also for their tracks, droppings, feeding sites, dens, nests, etc. Researchers capture and tag individual animals, monitor populations, and assess habitats. The study also does predator population counts at night, playing tape recordings of prey to attract lions and leopards for spotlight transects

Potential Long Term Impact

Attempts to improve the situation for hyaenas depend upon a thorough understanding of the regions they inhabit and of the roles of other scavengers. Maintaining a balance between hyaenas, vultures, and dung beetles-three key scavengers in the area-is essential for a healthy ecosystem. Assessing them in one project will provide critical data for future overall conservation efforts.

Funding Information

Total Funding Received to Date: $600

Funding Information

This project is now in implementation and no longer available for funding. Received funds will be used to accomplish concrete objectives as indicated in the project's "Activities" section. Updates will be posted under the "Project Report" tab as they become available.

Donors' contributions and pledges to this project totaled $600 .  The original project funding goal was $3,495.


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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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Project Leader

Heather Wilcox

Boston, MA United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Save South Africa's Brown Hyaenas