Current and former grad students in the Holekamp lab are working with the Kenya Wildlife Service to assess alternative methods for monitoring population trends in large carnivores in Kenya’s national parks. In addition to our work in the eastern part of the Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, with funds donated by Thom Hogan, we have also established a carnivore monitoring station in the western part of the Reserve. We are studying conflicts between humans, their livestock, and large carnivores along the northern edge of the Masai Mara National Reserve. We have found that attack rates of carnivores (lions, leopards & hyenas) on livestock increase during the rainy season, presumably because that is when the natural prey populations utilized by these predators are most widely scattered and difficult to catch (Kolowski & Holekamp 2009). Finally, by comparing a hyena population living in close proximity to humans with a population that has no experience of humans other than the occasional tour vehicle, we are evaluating how anthropogenic disturbance affects use of space and time by hyenas (Green et al. forthcoming)..
Dr. Holekamp is past editor of, and our lab is host to, a comprehensive website dedicated to the Hyena family for the IUCN Hyeanidae Specialist Group, with sections on Brown Hyena, Striped Hyena, Spotted Hyena and the Aardwolf.