Hyaena hyaena (Linnaeus 1758) Striped Hyaena
Hebrew name: צבוע, tzavo’a
Global Threat: NT – Near Threatened
Regional Threat: EN (D) - Endangered
Distribution area: Found throughout the country, except for densely, continuously populated areas. Israel is the northwestern limit of the striped hyaena’s global distribution.
Historic distribution: Tristram (1866) wrote that at the end of the 19th century the hyaena was found throughout the country in all landscapes (Ilani 1979). During the 1930s the species began disappearing from settled areas (Aharoni 1930, Bodenheimer 1935; in Ilani 1979). In the 1970s striped hyaenas were common throughout Israel except for densely populated areas (most of the Coastal Plain).
Typical Habitat: All habitats in the country, except for the upper regions of Mt. Hermon and shifting sand dunes.
Threat and Disturbance Factors:
3. Improved sanitation of large animal carcasses and reduction of available food.
Population Size Estimate: Ilani (1979) estimated the population in Israel at 80-135 individuals during the 1970s. Mills & Hofer (1998) estimated the Israeli population at 100-170. Based on roadkill data, we feel these estimates are conservative, and that at least 200 striped hyaenas exist in Israel.
Fluctuations in Population Size: There apparently have been no population changes in the last decades.
Isolation between Subpopulations: None.
Necessary Steps for Species Preservation: Constructing many wide road underpasses to prevent roadkill and population fragmentation. Culverts should be designed with elevated ledges providing “dry” passage for wildlife.