Status and Conservation of the Striped Hyena in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (West Bank)

Elias N. Handal*, George H. Qumsieh, Shayma Y. Hammash and Mazin B. Qumsiyeh
Palestine Museum of Natural History; Palestine Instituted for Biodiversity and Sustainability –Bethlehem University, 
Bethlehem, Palestine
*Corresponding author:

AbstractThe striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena) in Palestine is one of the four living hyena species in the whole world. There have been no studies on the status of the striped hyena in the West Bank over the past twenty-five years. Therefore, this paper presents a detailed study based on data collection and field observations (including camera traps) that add to the existing knowledge about this unique carnivorous mammal. The researchers collaborated with the Environmental Quality Authority in the new animal rehabilitation unit which provided the researchers with both deceased and confiscated animals. The observations in this study significantly extend the distribution range of the hyena from the eleven localities reported earlier to over twenty localities. The study also discusses the educational efforts that were made to raise awareness and address the myths that allow people to kill hyenas, including the enforcement of the 1999 environmental law, and the prospects for the future of hyena populations. The researchers are cautiously optimistic concerning the future of this species especially in light of the education and awareness campaigns in addition to the more strict enforcement of laws by the EQA and the newly-established environmental police units. One challenge remains open which is the Israeli occupation that limits the accessibility of Palestinian officials to 60% of the West Bank which harbors some 90% of the hyena habitats in the Palestinian territories.

Keywords: Hyaena hyaena, Striped Hyena, Palestine, West Bank, Conservation.

Jordan Journal of Natural History, 6, (2019),  11-18.

Other articles published in the same issue: Jordan Journal of Natural History, vol.6, iss. 6.

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