A preliminary comparison of brown hyaena activity patterns at den sites located within a protected reserve and a commercial farmland
Keywords:activity patterns, brown hyaena, Namibia, protected area
Wildlife activity patterns reflect both internal biological rhythms and adaptations to environmental factors. Studies examining the impact of anthropogenic activities on wildlife, including land-use, have frequently found changes in activity patterns in response to these activities. One species often found in human-dominated landscapes is the brown hyaena (Parahyaena brunnea), a large, nocturnal carnivore, endemic to southern Africa, which lives in societal clans that use a communal den. This study compared brown hyaena activity patterns at two den sites: a protected nature reserve and a non-protected commercial farmland in north-central Namibia. Activity curves produced by camera trap monitoring of the two den sites were significantly different and showed a coefficient of overlap of 0.21 (95% confidence intervals 0.19-0.25). Brown hyaena den activity at the protected site was mainly diurnal, whilst activity at the non-protected site showed a higher degree of nocturnal activity. Several potential reasons may explain the differences in den activity between the two sites, including environmental conditions and anthropogenic influences. More studies are needed with larger sample sizes to further investigate the impact of these factors.
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