About Indian striped Hyena
- IUCN status: Near threatened
- It is the smallest of all the species of Hyenas. It is found in the states of Rajasthan, Uttar pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu etc.
- They are nocturnal and usually prey on the carrions of the hunts of large carnivores such as tigers.
- Hyenas usually live alone, and are extremely difficult to spot due to their reclusive nature.
- 27th April is celebrated as International Hyena Day to support conservation and to spread awareness of the importance of this creature in our ecosystem.
- Threats: Human-hyena conflict due to livestock, conflict with top predators such as tigers, poaching and hunting.
Why in the news?
- There is an increase in sightings of Indian striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena) in the buffer zone of the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR). Read more about MTR @ https://officerspulse.com/mtr-needs-a-plan-for-eco-conservation/
- This has brought hope of recovery as in the past few years the hyena population in the region (limited to Sigur Plateau of MTR) was steadily decreasing. Now the population of hyenas is expected to be around 30 individuals.
- Earlier, due to carcass poisoning by the farmers, the hyenas used to die , but now the numbers are increasing. Cutdown on illegal tourism, lack of disturbance in the buffer zone, better protection of carnivores such as tigers on whose hunt hyenas depend upon are seen to be some factors for their population growth.
- Experts are pushing for larger studies on this species to understand its habitat and conservation.