Anabritta Kopp

Session 1
Board Number

Examining the Changes in Activity Patterns of Spotted Hyena (Crocuta crocuta) Groups in Close Proximity to Humans and Cattle

Human encroachment on wildlife and habitat can have negative effects on every level of the ecosystem, but many species can adapt to the changing environment to minimize these effects. In the Masai Mara conservancies in Kenya, humans and cattle share habitat with wildlife, including large predators like the spotted hyena. We used remote camera trap data to explore how living in close proximity to humans and cattle affects the spatial and temporal activity patterns of spotted hyenas. To identify specific individuals we used WildID, which uses spot patterns to identify possible matches between hyenas. Photos were cropped to only include the individuals’ bodies in profile to maximize visible spot patterns. Using matches found through WildID, we compared movement in space and time across environmental variables. Spotted hyenas were found to be highly nocturnal in opposition to cattle that were shown to be highly diurnal. Hyenas were also only observed moving in areas with high human impact at night. This shows that hyenas are able to adapt to human encroachment by shifting to being more nocturnal.