IUCN threat status:

Near Threatened (NT)


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Range Description

This species is endemic to southern Africa with a marginal extension into the arid parts of southwestern Angola, southeastern Botswana, and the northern and western Cape regions of the Republic of South Africa. Almost 90% of the Brown Hyena population in Botswana occurs in the Southern Conservation Zone (Winterbach et al. 2014). The range of the Brown Hyaena has shrunk significantly since the end of the 18th century when it was last recorded from Table Bay in the extreme southwest of the continent (Hofer and Mills 1998a, Mills 1990). They remain widespread in southern Africa, and in recent years in South Africa have been recorded from the extreme south in the Western Cape (Gansbaai and Bredasdorp), possibly vagrants from a small population in the Little Karoo (Yarnell et al. 2013). Thorn et al. (2011a) found that Brown Hyena distribution in northern South Africa was larger than in previous estimates. However, in farm land in this same area, Brown Hyaena occupancy was estimated at 0.748 (SE 0.1), and estimated overall density in agricultural land (0.15/100km2, SE 0.08), which was an order of magnitude lower than in protected areas (Thorn et al. 2011b). Boast and Houser (2012) also found that Brown Hyena distribution in Ghanzi, Botswana was larger than previously believed. Several re-introductions have taken place in South Africa's Eastern Cape (e.g., Shamwari Game Reserve; Slater and Muller 2014), and sightings have since been recorded there (e.g., Hayward et al. 2007). Other range expansions have also been recorded from South Africa (Thorn et al. 2011a). Recent studies from Zimbabwe show a range expansion into the north/northwest region of the country (E. van der Meer pers. comm. 2014) and into the east (R. Groom pers. comm. 2014). They seem to be absent from southeast Namibia (I. Wiesel pers. comm. 2014) and the Zambezi region (former Caprivi Strip; L. Hanssen pers. comm. 2014). No recent records are available from the central and western parts of South Africa's Northern Cape Province. Records from Malawi are erroneous (see discussion in Ansell and Dowsett 1988).


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© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

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