The brown hyena is an elusive, nocturnal scavenger which feed mainly on vertebrate remains. With a trained eye one should be able to spot brown hyena activity such as the pasting on a grass blade, shown in the picture bellow.
Brown hyenas have an anal gland below the base of their tail, which produces a black and white paste. The gland has a groove, coated with a white secretion, which divides a pair of lobes which produce a black secretion. These secretions are deposited on grass stalks roughly every quarter mile of their feeding grounds, particularly around territorial borders. By sniffing this pasting other hyenas can gather information such as the sex of the animal, how long ago the hyena was in the area and who it was.
Very little is known about the special and feeding ecology of this animal. We have the privilege of having one of our own coordinators (Konrad Muller) doing research on the Brown Hyena for his Masters thesis. This gives SCE volunteers, who work with animals, the opportunity to get involved in the data collection process, such as putting out camera traps at den sights, identifying different hyenas and scat analysis.