Neo-taphonomy of striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena) in Israel

Ezra Hadad, Amir Balaban, Jakub Z. Kosicki, Reuven Yosef

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Humans increase the limited number of daylight hours available to them by using artificial light at night (ALAN) to improve their ability to continue functioning under light conditions. Several studies found that ALAN has multiple impacts on wildlife, and even humans. We examined whether the prey of striped hyenas (Hyaena hyaena), a commensal of human-altered areas, has adapted to this change in the natural environment. We collected prey remains in 12 different dens during 20 breeding attempts between 1993 and 2022. Our analysis shows that ALAN had no impact on diet or den distribution in central Israel. We were able to identify 654 prey items from 49 species in the dens. We divided the species into five main groups: domestic animals (11 species), wild mammals (19), reptiles (3), and birds (17). Domestic animals were the most numerous in the diet. We also found vegetative species, mainly fruits and vegetables, of 10 species in the dens. In conclusion, our study shows that the plasticity of striped hyena feeding behavior, which may vary depending on geographical region and habitat, and is influenced by human and livestock waste disposal. Their respectful behavior and tolerance of human disturbance make the striped hyena an exceptional carnivore, providing ecosystem services. Therefore, public awareness of the importance of protecting this species in the Middle East must be developed to raise appropriate environmental education programs for the public.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105103
JournalJournal of Arid Environments
Volume220
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2024

Keywords

  • Diet
  • Israel
  • Judea
  • Striped hyena
  • Taphonomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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