LIWONDE Hyaena Project

Liwonde National Park has a clan of eleven spotted hyaenas (Crocuta crocuta), the only confirmed large carnivores resident in the Park.

As well as the resident clan, CRM relocated four spotted hyaenas from Lilongwe City to the Park in April 2015 after conflict issues with local communities.

The translocation

Collaring hyaena

In June 2014 CRM were contacted by DNPW about increasing fear and conflict between local communities and a specific hyaena clan occupying the city. The clan was at high risk and in a collaborative effort with many discussions it was decided that the clan should be captured and safely relocated to a National Park away from local communities.

Darted hyaena


In partnership with WERU, LWT, DNPW and Central African Wilderness Safaris we captured a clan of four animals from Lilongwe and conducted a conservation translocation into Liwonde National Park in April 2015. The clan were fitted with tracking collars and the CRM research team have been monitoring their progress alongside the existing hyaena clan in LNP.


The resident clan

The resident clan of eleven individuals have been monitored by CRM since the introduction of the translocated clan. Researchers and volunteers are Trackingassessing spatial and social behaviour, clan interactions and survival.

In order to collect behavioural data, the team have also been in the process of habituating the clan. The habituation process is vital to CRM’s research as it will allow behavioural data to be collected, enabling the analysis of intergroup dynamics between the resident clan and the introduced clan.

New research being undertaken by CRM is the analysis of hyaena scat in the laboratory to assess and compare the diet of the resident and the introduced clans.


Large Mammal Transects

Since the takeover of the management of LNP from the Department of National Parks & Wildlife to Africa Parks, CRM have been involved in assessing the suitability for carnivore reintroductions to the park.

To achieve this, the team have been carrying out Large Mammal Transects (LMTs) across the park to assess large mammal populations and distributions. This will help inform African Parks on the carrying capacity of the park to assess which carnivore species are appropriate for introduction.


We take volunteers for this project based in Liwonde National Park. Volunteers will be conducting radio tracking and behavioural observations of hyaena at night from the project vehicle. See our volunteer page for more information and to apply.

Keep your eye on this page and the news pages for regular updates about the project.

We are grateful to the following funders and supporters of this project:


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