Save South Africa's Brown Hyaenas

by Earthwatch Institute Vetted since 2011 Site Visit Verified
Save South Africa's Brown Hyaenas


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.

total raised
monthly donors


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.


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.


Expedition web page.
Earthwatch's Facebook page
Earthwatch's website.

Organization Information

Earthwatch Institute

Location: Boston, MA - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @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.

Still want to help?

Support another project run by Earthwatch Institute that needs your help, such as:

Find a Project

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.