The Clans

The Ngorongoro Crater is inhabited by eight spotted hyena clans. Clans currently consist of between 33 and 72 hyenas and total population size is at 382 individuals, including 295 adults. The number of adult hyenas currently living in the Crater is higher than at the beginning of our study in 1996 but lower than in the late 1960s when 385 adult hyenas were estimated to live in the Crater.

Territories of clans overlap and boundaries are very stable despite variations in clan sizes and total number of hyenas. There are also clans living on the Crater rim and surrounding highlands. Their territories overlap with those of our study clans, members of Crater rim clans sometimes undertake short-term trips to the Crater floor and (a few) males of these clans immigrate into our study clans.

The map shows the territories of the eight resident clans on the Crater floor. Click on the names of the clans to learn each clan’s peculiarities!

Crater map with hyena clan territories

Further information

Höner OP, Wachter B, East ML, Runyoro VA, Hofer H (2005) The effect of prey abundance and foraging tactics on the population dynamics of a social, territorial carnivore, the spotted hyena. Oikos 108: 544-554.