MAMMAL OF THE WEEK

The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) and the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) launched the 2016 Red List of Mammals of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland in December 2016. Each week, we’ll be bringing you new species assessments, and introducing you to our Mammal of the Week, based on this updated Red List.

Brown Hyaena
Parahyaena brunnea

This week’s mammal of the week is the Near Threatened Brown Hyaena. Did you know that the taxonomic clade containing the Brown and Striped Hyaenas last shared a common ancestor with the Spotted Hyaena (Crocuta crocuta) roughly 8.6 million years ago? The Brown Hyaena only occurs in southern Africa and there are estimated to be more than 10,000 mature individuals across its range. It is widespread within the assessment region, but is absent from Lesotho and Swaziland. This species is one of the few large carnivores that can survive on unprotected land. However, outside of protected areas the species faces many threats, such as direct and indirect persecution and road collisions. Sadly, Brown Hyaenas are often shot, poisoned, trapped, snared and hunted with dogs in an attempt to reduce livestock predation events.

For more information visit https://www.ewt.org.za/Reddata/reddata.html

The 2016 Red List of Mammals of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland was funded via the South African National Biodiversity Institute (through a grant by the Norwegian Government that aims to build capacity in the southern Africa region for undertaking assessments), the Endangered Wildlife Trust, the Department of Environmental Affairs, E Oppenheimer & Son and De Beers Group of Companies.