Authors: MÜHSİN ÇOĞAL, YASİN İLEMİN, MUSTAFA SÖZEN
Abstract: The Striped Hyaena, Hyaena hyaena, extends its distribution in the north into Turkey, where it has always been rare. In a status assessment conducted by Kasparek et al. in 2004, it was shown that the species is at the brink of extinction. We compiled information from different sources including a press survey and camera trapping in different parts of the country. The situation has even deteriorated since then. The population has strongly decreased, in particular, in the Marmara and Mediterranean regions, and presently the species survives in Western Anatolia only in some small relict populations in Manisa, İzmir, Muğla, and Bilecik provinces. The situation is different in southeastern Turkey, including the province of Hatay. The species could survive there and regular reports in the press (e.g., road kills) indicate that the species is still widespread and not extremely rare. Several animals were confirmed to live in a nature reserve established for the protection of Striped Hyaenas in the Hatay province. Altogether, the present-day distribution range of the Striped Hyaena in Turkey is split into two parts: a highly threatened relict populations in the west and a larger, slightly less threatened population in the southeast. This means that the species has lost about half of its distribution area in Turkey during the last three or four decades. If serious protective precaution measures are not taken, the Striped Hyaena population in western Anatolia will be completely lost in the near future.
Keywords: Distribution, status assessment, camera trapping, conservation
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