Crocuta crocuta

Spotted Hyaena clans are female dominated

Biology: Spotted hyaenas occupy a wide range of habitats including semi-desert, savannah and woodlands. They are well known for scavenging from carcasses left by other predators, however this is just one aspect of their opportunistic feeding. They are efficient hunters that can prey on large animals such as wildebeest and antelope and are flexible enough to also feed on smaller prey such as birds and snakes.

Spotted hyaenas live in groups called clans which can reach up to 80 individuals and function with a female dominated hierarchy. Clan members separate and rejoin, rarely coming together at the same time. They communicate in this complex social structure using a wide range of calls, such as whoops to keep contact over distance.

Red list category: Least concern

Threats: While some populations of spotted hyaena may be stable or increasing, overall trends indicate decreasing numbers. This is mainly due to human persecution resulting in culling and poisoning and hyaena becoming entangled in snares laid out for other animals.

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