Data request from the Hyaena Specialist Group: Hyaena Distribution Mapping Project 2018

Dear all,

Please find below a data request call from Hyaena Specialist Group who seek to update the global distribution mapping and status assessment project for all 4 hyaena species.


Data call as sent out by by Stephanie Dloniak & Andrew Jacobson:

Greetings from the Hyaena Specialist Group!

We are writing to you ask for your help with our efforts to create new range maps for the 4 species of hyaena:

The Hyaena Distribution Mapping Project 2018.

Over the next 7 months, we will attempt to compile all verifiable observations of hyaenas (and their spoor) since 2010, across their ranges. Range maps for these species (spotted hyaena, striped hyaena, brown hyaena, and aardwolf) have not been updated since 1998! These new range maps will be the first step towards a new status survey and conservation action plan for the Hyaenidae.

Our guiding research objectives for this project are:

1) to provide an updated global distribution map for all 4 hyaena species

2) to compare the distribution maps to the 1998 Action Plan

3) to collate all known density information 

4) to identify key threats for each species and/or geographic region

You can help in three ways:

1) Submit data:

– If you have 50 of fewer observations, you can complete the attached data spreadsheet and email it to Andrew Jacobson:

– Alternatively, you can post observations at, and they will be automatically added to our project there ( There are now over 1000 observations included in the project.

– Finally, if you have a large number of potential data points from a research project or camera trapping survey please email Andrew and we can determine the best way to handle your data.

2) Provide additional contacts:

This email is being sent to almost 300 people in at least 50 countries, but we have significant gaps in our list of contacts. If you know of people and/or organizations that might have useful data, and you are willing to share their contact information with us, we would be very grateful. We are especially interested in gaining contacts for observations outside of protected areas, and in countries outside of eastern and southern Africa. Please see the attached list of names currently on our list, and the attached spreadsheet template for new contacts. New contacts can be sent to Steph Dloniak:

(Please note that we are also sending this email out to all SSC members working in hyaena range countries, through IUCN.)

3) Spread the word:

We would also be grateful if you could forward the attached flier across your networks, and amplify this request online through social media and your websites. The Hyaena Specialist Group is on Instagram and Facebook with the handle @hyaenaspecialistgroup and on Twitter with the handle @hyaenasg. We will also post links to your projects and efforts on our new website and social media.

We are of course happy to have a slew of co-authors on any publications resulting from this research, and can provide data-sharing and author agreements to collaborators and contributors as necessary. The current collaborators on this project include most members of the Hyaena Specialist Group, Andrew Jacobson (Duke), Florien Weise (CLAWS Conservancy and University of Pretoria), Sarah Durant (ZSL), and Claudio Sillero (WildCru). In addition to this request for data, we are mining the internet in various ways and have conducted systematic literature searches. Please email Andrew if you would like more details on data acquisition and proposed analyses.

If you have questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Thank you and we look forward to working with you!

With very best wishes,

-Steph and Andrew

Stephanie M. Dloniak, PhD

Chair, IUCN Hyaena Specialist Group

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Integrative Biology, Michigan State University


Andrew Jacobson, PhD

Duke University

1 Comment

  • Vladimir Dinets

    What about uncertain records? A couple weeks ago I found some hyena tracks at 21.516494N 16.933738W, but they were old and I’m not 100% sure about identification.

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