Spotted hyenas at Garub

This project is a collaboration between the Brown Hyena Research Project and the Namibia Wild Horses Project. Both projects have long-term experience in research in the southern Namib desert and the wild horse population has been permanently monitored for over 20 years. The objectives are to gain detailed data about spotted hyena abundance, movement and diet, and to evaluate the true impact on the wild horse population in the Garub area.

The most recent drought that started in 2013 contributes greatly to the mortality of wild horses at Garub up to date. No foals have survived since then and the number of mares has dropped to 50. Their weak condition makes them easy prey to spotted hyenas.

Survival of the horses is only possible due to the permanent provision of fresh water at a trough at Garub. During extreme droughts additional water, mineral supplements and food is provided, too, enabling the horses to survive in the area. However, this also means that spotted hyenas have all year round access to fresh water, which they depend on, so that they can stay in the Garub area instead of migrating to more favourable areas within their home range.