Scientific name: Crocuta crocuta
Swahili name: fisi
Kenya has three types of hyenas: The spotted hyena, stripped and brown hyena. The stripped hyena is almost extinct but there are still sizeable populations of brown and spotted Spotted hyenas are classified as Lower Risk: Conservation Dependent on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. The world population of spotted hyenas is estimated at between 27,000 and 47,000.
Spotted hyenas occur in most of Kenya’s parks. They are disliked in community areas where they are often the most serious predators of livestock. They are very susceptible to poisoning and slow to recover in areas from which they have been decimated. Hence, their numbers are severely depleted outside protected areas. Their limited ability to recover in areas where they have been decimated makes spotted hyenas particularly reliant on conservation efforts.
The major causes of the rapid decline of populations outside conservation is caused by persecution, disease (especially rabies), conflict between people and carnivores, including destruction of habitats, loss of food, climate change, and increase in human population.
In February 2010 Kenya launched the national large carnivore conservation and management strategies. This is the Species Conservation and Management Department. This is Africa’s first ever such strategies to provide a clear roadmap for the conservation of cheetahs, lions, leopards, stripped and spotted hyenas and the African wild dogs. The department prescribes actions that need to be taken by various stakeholders coordinated by KWS to reverse the declining population.