Thank you for following and supporting Earthwatch’s South Africa’s Hyenas research expedition. After nine enlightening years of data collection, Dr. Dawn Scott will be concluding her research on South Africa’s scavengers this summer, and will begin a new study this fall on effective protection and management strategies for South Africa’s highly endangered rhinos.
As South Africa’s Hyenas draws to a close, we are pleased to share some highlights from the final season:
- Volunteers completed both summer and winter spotlight transects and camera studies.
- Juno, a young brown hyena rescued from the streets of Johannesburg, was rehabilitated and released successfully back in the wild at Mankwe.
- An active brown hyena den with pups was located using camera traps.
This research focused on several key objectives:
- To determine the distribution and abundance of scavengers and carnivores across the North West province.
- To assess and compare scavenger and carnivore presence, abundance, density, diet, breeding, and habitat use in areas with different levels of protection and land use.
- To determine what factors affected their distribution patterns.
We are proud to say that all objectives have been met. Over the years, the South Africa's Hyenas expedition has informed many papers, contributed to multiple PhD degrees, inspired countless volunteers, influenced local management policies, and will continue to serve as a guide to landowners on more effective ways to live with carnivores and scavengers. Several more papers are scheduled to be published in 2015, and there will be a new International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) species assessment for brown hyenas that will draw from the significant body of information amassed over the last decade.
Thank you again for your steady support of this project. None of these accomplishments would have been possible without caring and committed donors like you!
Director of Annual Giving & Advancement Services
P.S. If you’d like more information about Dr. Scott’s upcoming research on Conserving Endangered Rhinos in South Africa, please follow the link to the expedition page, below.