Urban Hyaena Research Project

Believe it or not, the capital city of Malawi (Lilongwe) has a healthy population of urban spotted hyaena (Crocuta crocuta).

The CRM Urban Hyaena Research Project aims to assess the behavioural ecology of the urban population (including spatial behaviour and diet) to inform human-wildlife conflict management.



Hyaenas are often maligned and suffer from a lack of understanding through a history of negative myths and legends. This is often compounded when hyaenas come into close contact with humans such as in Lilongwe, where they are often feared.

We aim to raise awareness of the hyaena to dispel myths and misunderstandings and use field research (GPS tracking and behavioural research) to quantify spatial and foraging behaviour to inform human-wildlife conflict mitigation in Lilongwe.

hyaenaWe are currently monitoring two clans in the city and are fitting satellite collars to track their movements and inform mitigation. If you live in Lilongwe you can help us by reporting any hyaena sightings to us. Simply download and complete our sightings form here and email it to us at urbanhyaena@carnivoreresearchmalawi.org.

We are working with The Department of National Parks and Wildlife to promote non-lethal control methods when wildlife comes into conflict with humans, and visiting schools with the Lilongwe Wildlife Center to give talks on hyaena ecology and the research CRM do.

Keep an eye on the news page for the latest findings and information from the Urban Hyaena project. The urban hyaena projects forms parts of our wider Urban Wildlife Project bridging both CRM and our partner project; African Bat Conservation. Based in Lilongwe City and surrounding areas, the aim of the project is to mitigate human-wildlife conflict, improve education and awareness of wildlife and advise and support policy and decision making where wildlife are involved. Visit the Urban Wildlife Project page for more information.

In response to increasing conflict in the city and to avoid hyaena mortality, in 2015 the CRM team captured a hyaena clan in Lilongwe and translocated them into Liwonde National Park. The clan were fitted with tracking collars and along with LNPs resident hyaenas, are being monitored to assess spatial and social behaviour, clan interactions and survival. To follow the progress and find out more about this project visit the Liwonde Hyaena Project page.


Click here to download the current project newsletter and sign up for regular email updates.

Volunteer blog

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How you can help

Find out how you can help by volunteering, making a donation, or sponsoring here.