Natural Resources, School of


First Advisor

Dr. John P. Carroll

Second Advisor

Dr. John P. DeLong

Date of this Version



Castillo, Jazmin 2020. Charismatic Predators in Modern Africa: Spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta) and Human coexistence in the Northern Tuli Game Reserve, Botswana. Thesis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, USA.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Natural Resource Sciences, Under the Supervision of John P. Carroll and John P. DeLong. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2020

Copyright (c) 2020 Jazmin Castillo


Increasing human populations has led researchers to investigate the impacts of high human population density and its impact on carnivore populations. Spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) hold a unique place in African ecosystems due to being a very successful top predator with an adaptable diet whereas other top predators, like the African lion, are rapidly decreasing in abundance. We investigated past and current spotted hyena abundance within the Northern Tuli Game Reserve to better aid in wildlife management. Spotted hyenas showed no significant difference in the change in population abundance throughout the different years of the study (2008-2016). Spotted hyena populations also showed no preference in habitat types between river and upland sites whereas brown hyenas had greater detections in river sites. Spotted hyena distribution was negatively impacted by villages and proximity to the border and positively impacted by ecotourism camps and cattle posts. With the decline in riverine habitat and humans influencing wildlife space usage, it is important to further investigate whether certain areas within the reserve require different management zones for a better balance in a limited space surrounded by various human infrastructure.

Advisors: John P. Carroll and John P. DeLong