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Tilson, R.L. and Henschel, J.R. 1986. Spatial arrangement of spotted hyaena groups in a desert environment, Namibia. African Journal of Ecology, 24(3): 173–180


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Spatial arrangement of spotted hyaena groups in a desert environment, Namibia.

Summary / Notes:

Spatial organization of spotted hyaenas (Crocuta crocuta) in the central Namib Desert, SWA/Namibia was determined during a 21-month study (1977–1979). Clans of three, four and five adults occupied mutually exclusive home ranges that had no overlap at boundaries. Group home ranges averaged 570 km2 (range = 383–816 km2). Core areas containing breeding dens, lairs and water sources were scent-marked with faeces (= latrines), anal gland deposits (= pasting) and interdigital gland deposits (scratch marks). Intergroup encounters and associated territorial behaviours described for East African hyaena populations were not observed in the Namib hyaena population. We suggest that small group size, large home range and temporal distribution pattern of spotted hyaenas in the central Namib are an adjustment to a dispersed, depauperate prey assemblage and to the limited availability of water and shelter that are characteristic of this desert environment.

Year: 1986

Type: Journal Article

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