Boost For Brown Hyena Research Project

10 Apr 2024

The harsh environment of the southern coastline of Namibia is not for the faint-hearted. That goes for plants, birds and animals as well.

Several species like jackals and brown hyenas stick close to several seal colonies as prey animals.

Research is done on brown hyenas (Hyaena brunnea) in southern Namibia in the Namib Desert. The “Brown Hyena Research Project” (BHRP) started in 1997 and is a self-funded non-profit organisation and is also involved in the conservation of these lone mammals, which are known among locals a strandwolf (beach wolf).

Field research on a darted hyena along Namibia`s southern coastline.
Photo: BHRP


The BHRP received a previously used off-road vehicle for its field research at the end of March 2024 from the diamond mining company Namdeb under its “Mining for Good“ project. The previous vehicle, donated nine years ago, also by Namdeb, had become unreliable.

“The coastal Namib Desert brown hyenas are ecologically unique, as they scavenge and prey almost exclusively on Cape fur seal pups, which are born at mainland seal colonies,” according to the BHRP.

\Representatives of Namdeb hand over the vehicle keys to members of the BHRP.
Photo: Namdeb.


The pups thus form an all-year round food source, which also helps to keep the seal populations in check.

“No other large predators occur in our coastal study areas,” the BHRP noted.

Apart from Namdeb, other sponsors are the Kansas City Zoo, ESRI Technology Conservation, the Namibia Nature Foundation and the Go Green Fund of Nedbank Namibia. 

Brigitte Weidllich 

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