Foraging Behaviour of the Brown Hyaena (Hyaena brunnea Thunberg, 1820) in the Southern Kalahari


Kalahari Gemsbok National Park, Private Bag X5890, P. O. Gemsbok Park, 8815, South Africa.


Observations on six free ranging adult brown hyaenas (Hyaena brunnea) fitted with radio collars and beta lights were supplemented by observations on three untagged large cubs and by tracking spoor. Brown hyaenas are predominantly nocturnal and cover large distances alone each night searching for vertebrate remains and other food. Carrion is mainly located by olfactory sense, although auditory cues are also used. Excess food is often stored for short periods. Wild fruits and birds' eggs are eaten and hunting behaviour is directed towards small vertebrates and insects. Some adaptations of the brown hyaena to its environment are discussed.