Brown hyaena update – Week 1 post release!

Ok so ‘Project Impisi’ is well and truly in progress at Askari and a week after release I know you’re all desperate to hear what our hyaenas are up to! 13 GPS positions are collected by each hyaena a night and we have 2 ways in which we can access the data recorded. The first method is by the collar sending us its data via the cell phone network when the animal comes into signal. As some of you may remember though, there’s not a huge amount of signal round these parts so we can also track the hyaenas with telemetry and remotely download their data from the collar using a computer in the field. With so many data points it’s impossible to show you all their movements but follows a little taster of what each one of our guys is up to.

No.5 – Sticking with his elusive nature, No.5 left the boma at the first chance possible. He spent 2 nights on Langa, patrolling mainly around the boundary before crossing into the open system (through the river). We caught up with him near the 4×4 course but from there he ventured to Pidwa South, across to the southern boundary of the buffalo camp and most recently sent data from the most south western section of the conservancy! It is to be expected that all the hyaenas will first check out the boundaries. This let’s them establish their position, potential territory and find out what’s around in their new area both food and mate wise.

Jaggedy – Jaggedy was next out the boma, leaving on night 2 of the gate being open. She has travelled around Langa, spent some time on the koppie but last night was recorded back in the boma. This morning she was sitting around 100 metres up the road.

Spot – Next out was Spot, only leaving after 5 nights for the first time. She too headed for the koppie and sent us some data from the corner next to the gravel road. She too however returned to the boma area the following day and was sitting in some dense bush about 150 metres up the road.

Gismo – Gismo was next out and guess where she went….to the koppie! There are a number of coordinates for all 4 hyaenas on Langa within merely a few metres of each other on and around the koppie. We always thought it would be a good habitat for them and of course we did see a brown hyaena up there more than 4 years ago. We don’t know yet whether it’s just coincidence or whether perhaps they are using pastings to communicate with each other about their travels outside the boma. Hopefully all of this will be discovered as the study progresses.

Smoothy – Smoothy finally left the boma last night and moved to the koppie from where he sent us some data. This morning no-one was recorded at the boma itself but both Spot and Jaggedy have been recorded as having spent some time back there after leaving the boma.

Below shows just 1 position recorded from each of the hyaenas collars. Obviously there are many hundreds more but this is just a starter! We’ll post updates in the newsletter and continue on facebook when we have developments to report


Our hyaenas movements 1 week post release

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