Although hyenas are phylogenetically closest to related cats, dogs share many behavioral and morphological features. Over time, several genera of hyenas alternated, but most of them became extinct. Today, only four species remain, making it the least common family of mammals. Despite their low diversity, hyenas are unique and an important part of ecosystems in Africa and parts of Asia.
This is what the following AnimalWised article is about where hyenas live and other important features of this particular species.
Hyenas are widespread in most habitats. However, their distribution varies slightly by species. Below we describe their distribution by species in more detail:
Brown hyena (Hyaena brunea)
It is currently the rarest species of hyena. The brown hyena inhabits desert areas, semi-deserts and the open Savannah. He can survive near urban areas by cleaning up. The brown hyena prefers rocky mountain areas because it can find shade there and is not dependent on readily available water sources for frequent drinking. The following countries are home to this species.
- South Africa
Striped Hyena (hyena)
The striped hyena has a very wide and uneven range, which not only covers the whole of North Africa, but extends almost south to Asia. Today, the range of this species is uneven in most areas, suggesting that it occurs in many isolated populations. This species comes from the following countries:
- Saudi Arabia
- Western Sahara
Spotted Hyena (Crocuta crocuta)
The spotted hyena comes from sub-Saharan Africa. Due to its expanded area of expansion and large population, the IUCN is classified as fearless. Outside protected areas, however, species are declining due to habitat loss and poaching. This species comes from the following countries:
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Ivory Coast
- Equatorial Guinea
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa
Aardwolf (cristata proteles)
This species, also known as the termite-eating hyena, has a rather inconspicuous range, especially in eastern and northeastern Africa. This species comes from the following countries:
- South Africa
Now that we know where hyenas live, we discuss their habitat.
- Brown hyena: Brown hyena: develops in dry habitats with very little rainfall per year, less than 100 mm. In this sense, it lives in the coastal areas of the south, in semi-deserts, thickets, open savannas of the forested type, where there is higher rainfall. It also extends to inhabited and cultivated areas. He prefers rocky, mountainous areas where he finds bushy places to rest.
- Striped hyena: Its habitat consists of open areas or thorny, bushy areas characterized by aridity or semi – dryness. Although it can spread to the Sahara, it avoids open ecosystems as well as wooded areas or dense vegetation and very high mountains. However, in countries such as Lebanon and Jordan, it is found in oak forests and has also been observed at altitudes of about 10,498 feet (approximately 3,200 meters). It can also live close to human clusters.
- Spotted hyena: The species is more general in terms of habitat, as it can develop in semi – deserts and savannas, but also in open, dense and dry forests. It can also be found at altitudes of around 13,451.44 feet (approximately 4,100 m). Although they tolerate long periods without water, they require little water, so they spread from areas where water is generally low. Like the striped hyena, it can live close to human clusters.
- The earth wolf: Lives on open grassy plains and does not occur in extreme forests or deserts. It also lives in thickets, savannah forests and gravel plains. It can live in water-scarce areas, as it satisfies this need with food. Its range reaches altitudes of about 6561.68 feet (approximately 2000 m).
Depending on the species, hyenas inhabit certain protected areas in their native areas. For example, the brown hyena develops on a larger scale in unprotected areas, which has led to the fact that almost endangered direct fishing in these unregulated areas. They are mistaken for dangerous livestock, even though the risk is really low.
Other species of hyenas are more common in protected areas. However, there is a conflicting aspect, as some areas have been declared protected also allow the hunting of these animals.
Some protected areas where hyenas occur are:
- Namib-Naukluft Protected Area (CA)
- AC Skeleton Coast
- AC Tsau // Khaeb (restricted area)
- Etosha National Park (NP) (Namibia)
- Kgalagadi Transboundary NP (South Africa, Botswana)
- Makgadikgadi NP (Botswana)
- Pilanesberg NP (South Africa)
- Serengeti NP (Tanzania)
- Shamwari Game Reserve (RC) (Eastern Cape, South Africa)
- Central Kalahari RC (Botswana)
- RC Maswa
If you want to learn more about hyenas, don’t miss this next article, where we’ll talk about what hyenas eat.
If you want to read similar articles like Where do hyenas live?we recommend visiting our category Facts about the animal kingdom.
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