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Rise in striped hyena population

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  • Published
    7th Jun, 2021

Indian striped hyena raises hope that the species is re-establishing itself in the buffer zone of the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR).


Indian striped hyena raises hope that the species is re-establishing itself in the buffer zone of the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR).


About the Indian striped hyena

  • Scientific name: Indian striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena)
  • It is mammal of the Carnivora order and Hyaenidae family.
  • They whoop, rumble, low, and laugh, when they are excited or on sensing danger.
    • Hyenas are like wild dogs and are top predators that compete with other species.
    • Striped hyenas usually lived alone and difficult to spot due to their reclusive nature.
  • Location: They are found in India, Central Asia, North and East Africa and West Asia.
  • Camera trap images from 2012 to 2020 reveal that the striped hyena population is very restricted to the North Eastern Slope (NES) and Segur forest ranges.
  • The hotspots of striped hyena in the region are Srikakulam, Parvathipuram forest area, Chodavaram and Devarapalle.
  • Conservation Status: The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has categorised it as ‘Near Threatened’ species on a global scale.
  • Reason for decline: It started declining in the Sigur plateau in the 1980s and 90s, because people reared cattle in pens. After the carnivores preyed on their cattle, the farmers would poison whatever remained of the carcasses of cattle.
  • It also caused death of vultures.
  • Threats: lack of monitoring and loss of habitat.

Reason behind the rise in number

  • This could be due to a number of factors, including better protection of carnivores such as tigers, which in turn would mean more food availability for species such as vultures and hyenas that scavenge on tiger kills.
  • Elimination of illegal tourism
  • Lack of disturbance in the buffer zone
  • Conservation Efforts
  • Creation of the latest range maps on the species distribution in the Eastern Ghats region.
  • The Eastern Ghats Wildlife Society (EGWS) is assisting IUCN Hyaena Specialist Group as a local collaborator.
  • The process of range mapping is unique as people people from across Eastern Ghats belt can report sightings of the species.

About Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) 

  • The Mudumalai National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is declared as a tiger reserve.·       
  • It lies in the northwestern side of the Nilgiri Hills, Tamil Nadu.
  • It shares its boundaries with the states of Karnataka and Kerala.
  • The sanctuary is divided into five ranges – Masinagudi, Thepakadu, Mudumalai, Kargudi and Nellakota.
  • The protected area is home to several endangered and vulnerable species such as Indian elephant, Bengal tiger, gaur and Indian leopard.
  • It is also a home to the critically endangered Indian white-rumped vulture and long-billed vulture.

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