In an effort to reduce human-hyaena conflict, LWT’s Wildlife Emergency Response Unit (WERU) last week helped Carnivore Research Malawi to collar a spotted hyaena at Bunda, just outside Lilongwe. After getting reports from Bunda or regular sightings, the CRM team saw an opportunity to instigate their urban work in a further location, still close to the city. Little was know about the hyaenas in the Bunda area – to expand their knowledge on urban hyaenas, they wanted to fit a collar on one of the clan to enable them to follow the animal’s movements.
Last weekend WERU vet, Dr Amanda Salb, joined the CRM crew for the evening in the hope of finding one of the adults hyaenas to collar. And the team were in luck! Just a few hours into the first evening (hyaena stakeouts can sometimes take weeks!), Dr Salb was able to get one of the adults within good view and at a good distance, and darted the animal. The hyaena was then given a quick once over and then fitted with a Followit Satellite collar that will give the research team regular fixes on the animal’s location, from which they can map their movements and the key human-wildlife conflict areas.
Coupled with work through community facilitators, the CRM team aim to reduce human-wildlife conflict in the area as well as understand more about hyaena ecology in urban areas.