Spotted Hyaena

The spotted hyaena is the most numerous large predator in the Serengeti and have an estimated global population of 27,000-47,000.

The spotted hyaena is the most numerous large predator in the Serengeti. Viable populations of spotted hyaena exist in a number of countries and a tentative estimate of the total global population is between 27,000 and 47,000.

The largest known populations occur in the Serengeti ecosystem in Tanzania, Kenya, and South Africa with 7,200-7,700 hyaenas in the Tanzanian sector and 500-1,000 hyaenas in the Kenyan sector. There are 1,300-3,900 hyaenas in Kruger National Park in South Africa.

Population densities based on systematic censuses vary substantially, from 0.006 individuals per square kilometers in Namibia to 2.4 individuals per square kilometers in the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania . Low population densities occur in semi-desert areas in southern Africa (0.006-0.05 individuals per square kilometers), such as the Namib and Etosha Pan. High densities occur in savanna and some open woodlands in Tanzania and Kenya, as well as in montane forests (0.32-2.4 individuals square kilometers), such as Selous Game Reserve, Aberdare National Park, and Ngorongoro Crater. Most populations in protected areas in southern Africa and several populations in eastern Africa are considered to be stable.

There is evidence that a few populations have increased during the past years. In Eritrea, there were no confirmed records of the species until the 1990s, but since then, spotted hyaenas have been recorded throughout the country and the population is believed to be increasing. Similarly, in Chad, the population of the largest national park has experienced a two-fold increase during the last few years. In contrast, many populations in eastern, central, and western Africa, are considered to be declining, even in protected areas, mostly due to an increase in human-wildlife conflict during which humans poison and cull spotted hyaenas, and due to incidental snaring. In Gabon, substantial efforts to find spotted hyenas revealed that single individuals from The Republic of Congo may enter Gabon from time to time, but there is no evidence of a resident population in Gabon.

Image | © Tambako The Jaguar, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Sources | (Bohm & Höner, 2015; Creel & Creel, 1996; Gasaway, Mossestad, & Stander, 1991; Henschel, et al., 2014; Hofer & Mills, 1998b; Holekamp & Dloniak, 2010; Höner, et al., 2012; Kingdon, 1977; Kruuk, 1972; Law, 2005; Nowak, 1999; Sillero-Zubiri & Gotelli, 1992; Tilson & Henschel, 1986)


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