Save South Africa's Brown Hyaenas

by Earthwatch Institute

Summary

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.
$3,495
total goal
$2,895
remaining
15
donors
0
monthly donors
4
years active

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.

Solution

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

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.

Resources

http:/​/​www.earthwatch.org/​exped/​scott.html
Expedition web page.
Earthwatch's Facebook page
Earthwatch's website.

Organization Information

Earthwatch Institute

Location: Boston, MA - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.earthwatch.org
Project Leader:
Heather Wilcox
Boston, MA United States

Funded Project!

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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