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Brown Hyena in Kruger?

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Imberbe
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Re: Brown Hyena in Kruger?

Unread post by Imberbe » Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:15 pm

Or some people do not know the difference between a brown hyena and a spotted hyena, just as some cannot distinguish between a leopard and a cheetah. :twisted: :wink:
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Re: Brown Hyena in Kruger?

Unread post by ndloti » Thu Sep 02, 2010 8:24 am

I consider myself to be one who does not easily exaggerate ... I am confident I saw a bh in the early 90's (?) on the northern side of the S52 loop not far from where it crosses the river . Although it was loping away from me up a gentle incline about 100m away and was visible for only 3 0r 4 seconds , the manner in which it was moving , the size , colour etc was too obvious to be a sh or an aardwolf .

Soon I will be in the area (see the avatar) to resume my quest for photographic proof .
KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.

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Re: Brown Hyena in Kruger?

Unread post by gmlsmit » Thu Sep 02, 2010 8:42 am

Your word is enough for me, as I have also spotted a BH in KRUGER many years ago Aug 1967 on the old bridge crossing the Olifants River.
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Re: Brown Hyena in Kruger?

Unread post by Imberbe » Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:12 pm

Then you are one of the luckiest (we create our own luck some times) people to visit KNP. :thumbs_up:
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Re: Brown Hyena in Kruger?

Unread post by Mike1916 » Thu Sep 02, 2010 3:56 pm

According to Mark and Delia Owens (they conducted research on Brown Hyenas in Botswana in the late 70's) BH are almost completely nocturnal(were seen at dusk and dawn) and are very shy animals, so that's most probably why no one sees them. They also found that they have a hierarchy system much the same as the Spotted Hyena(in Botswana, being a dry place may be different to Kruger as environment changes) but they search for food alone so if one is seen there has to be more.

Just my 2c worth.
I agree with you BF, it would be really interesting to conduct some research on Brown Hyena in KNP , i will speak to one of my lecturers tomorrow and find out if there is any current research being done on BH in SANParks :D
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Re: Brown Hyena in Kruger?

Unread post by o-dog » Fri Sep 03, 2010 10:11 am

I worked in the Sabi Sands for a couple of years and there were no Brown Hyena sightings during my time and that area is well traversed with all the lodges. When the Brown Hyena was seen in Sabi Sands last year, it was seen by at least 2 different lodges on consecutive nights. Djuma and Mala Mala.
Now the fact that there are no sightings in 30 odd years or more and then 2 sightings in 2 nights means that its probably the same individual and also means that they are not resident in the reserve because otherwise they would have been spotted more or at least tracks found.
My point is (and although perhaps obvious) that its not a case of a resident populations occurring throughout the park that is rarely seen but rather of nomads coming through or perhaps very small populations in the north of the park. We have had stray dogs on occasion in Sabi Sands as well as even a Gemsbok being reported once in the KNP and with documented populations of Brown Hyenas to the South and West of the park im sure they come through quite regularly as the fences are not animal proof. Kruger could easily be a population sink for this species where less dominant individuals get evicted from neighbouring populations and they come through to KNP where perhaps those that end up are killed by larger predators? :hmz:
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Re: Brown Hyena in Kruger?

Unread post by onewithnature » Fri Sep 10, 2010 4:50 pm

Thanks for the insider info, O-Dog. :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: Sad to think that the once-resident populations of Kruger have dwindled so. :cry: However, like the coelecanth, I'll bet we're bound to be surprised again the future - nature has a way of coping better than we know.
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Re: Brown Hyena in Kruger?

Unread post by Richprins » Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:46 pm

o-dog wrote:Kruger could easily be a population sink for this species where less dominant individuals get evicted from neighbouring populations and they come through to KNP where perhaps those that end up are killed by larger predators? :hmz:


I think that is the perfect answer, o-dog!

One difference could be that in the far North there is a population that has roamed rather MORE freely, or been resident and still may be, due to far smaller predator densities, and less tourist roads/sightings!

Will have to wait a month or more for info on Mozambique brown hyena, unfortunately.

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Re: Brown Hyena in Kruger?

Unread post by mggdyer » Sun Sep 12, 2010 8:24 am

1. Perhaps 35 years ago an edition of Custos carried a map of Kruger NP showing all the sightings ( probably recent at that time ) of Brown Hyena. Admittedly I remember that there were not a large number, but spread over most of the Kruger.

2. Perhaps 10 years ago, I heard that there was a sighting of one outside the Punda Maria gate by visitors who wanted to leave Kruger NP early. Apparently this one lived in Venda and was seen a few times.

3. Recent ranger reports are that there have been at least two sightings this year in the Sabie-Sand, Mala Mala reserves just n-w of Skukuza - both on night drives.

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Re: Brown Hyena in Kruger?

Unread post by Batmad » Sun Sep 12, 2010 1:36 pm

I saw Brown Hyena in KNP just north of Letaba about 6 years back on a night drive. It ran into the bushes off the road when we disturbed it. NO photo evidence though.
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Re: Brown Hyena in Kruger?

Unread post by Richprins » Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:30 pm

RUMURUTI wrote:Maybe a silly question but does anyone know if BH can be found in Mozambique??
Was thinking of occasional cross bordering.


Ok, RUMURUTI, got a response!

One of my contacts on the Moz side of the transfrontier Park suggests as follows:

She has never seen or heard of any brown hyena tracks (spoor) on that side, despite doing a lot of leg work more to the south of the area, and sometimes finding spotted hyena.

However, she fully endorses the probability of Brownies occuring in the North of the Moz side, due to the habitat/biome being more arid and the Brownie being less water dependant...sort of like the extension of springhare into the Limpopo and Shingwedzi valleys, (And bat-eared fox in the old days)

Also, in years gone by, the scarcity of Brownie sightings was compounded by the increase in prdator numbers in the Far North due to the policy of artificial water points drawing seasonally unnatural prey and predators, (read spotted hyena again) combined with the almost infinitesmally small tourist road network in the area concerned (On both sides of the border).

One factor that emerged from the discussion, which is no big secret, is that spotted hyena seem to be the brown hyena's biggest competition... :hmz:

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Re: Brown Hyena in Kruger?

Unread post by Johann » Fri Sep 17, 2010 5:34 pm

I was paging through my new copy of Die Goue Jare by Dr. U de V Pienaar last night. Now I didn't read all of it but noticed that in almost every year during the late 70's and then through the 80's there were reports of Brown Hyena throughout Kruger, mostly from Satara north-wards.
There were also quite a few reports of Bat-eared Foxes and most of those came from the Middelvlei waterhole area.

When I have more time (after exams in October) I will try to look up those reports and get them onto the forum. Unless somebody else has got some time on their hands before then :wink:
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Re: Brown Hyena in Kruger?

Unread post by Imberbe » Fri Sep 17, 2010 7:15 pm

Brown Hyena are nomads, especially the non territorial males. So I would not be totally shocked if the odd brownie appears in Kruger from time to time. They would wonder in from areas to the west, where there are populations, and where the populations can thrive, partly due to a lack of lion and spotted hyena.

Having a stable breeding population in KNP, is quite a different matter. I don't believe it exists at the moment. I think that that disappeared as part of the change which happened due to the introduction of huge numbers of watering points many years ago. The accompanying increase in numbers and distribution of lion and spotted hyena pushed the brownies out.
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Re: Brown Hyena in Kruger?

Unread post by ndloti » Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:41 pm

I know of the person in scientific / conservation services who logs the field staffs cybertracker sightings , will make enquiries .

Edit on 14 Oct :
I received a reply , no report received since the 2002 sighting by the Pafuri section ranger .
KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.

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Re: Brown Hyena in Kruger?

Unread post by mggdyer » Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:17 am

Imberbe - you raise an interesting issue re BH in Kruger - waterholes.
My understanding is that Nat Parks did open waterholes in northern KNP ( for Sable, Roan, Eland, etc ). However, this did not work out well as more zebra found their way north and trampled the grasses which those animals feed on. Again rumour has it that they are now closing waterholes in northern Kruger and, if this is fact, it might lead to an increase in BH residents.


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