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Aardwolf and Hyenas: Hyaenidae

Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Hyaenids And People, Spotted Hyena (crocuta Crocuta:): Species AccountsGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, CONSERVATION STATUS


Hyenas and aardwolves are found in the Middle East (including Turkey, Israel, and Saudi Arabia), Pakistan, India, and in Africa south of the Sahara Desert (except the rainforests of The Democratic Republic of the Congo).

Hyenas and aardwolves occupy grasslands, bush country (wild, uncultivated land), and open woodlands. They dig burrows (holes) underground or live in burrows abandoned by other animals.

The striped and brown hyenas are mainly scavengers, feeding off the leftover kills of other animals. They also eat hares (relatives of rabbits), rodents, reptiles, vegetables, and fruits. Brown hyenas along the Namib Desert eat South African fur seal pups and other sea organisms. The spotted hyena mostly hunts its own prey, such as gazelles, antelopes, wildebeests, and zebras. Aardwolves feed almost exclusively on termites.

The World Conservation Union (IUCN) lists the brown and striped hyenas as not currently threatened, but may become threatened because of, among other things, accidental killing from the poison-spraying of pests. The spotted hyena also may become threatened because of killing by humans and habitat loss or degradation as a result of land clearing for agriculture and livestock. The aardwolf is not a threatened species.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMammals