The Known Threats
In 1986 the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) placed the striped hyena species under the “Vulnerable" classification. In 2008 their total population was assessed and the numbers had dwindled to an estimated 5,000 to 14,000 mature striped species. Their continuous decline has now put them on the IUCN’s Red List of “Near Threatened" animals.
This creature’s solitary behavior has made them vulnerable to the greatest threats in their striped existence - humans. Past records show that acts of human aggression, as well as trading and poaching activities from as early as the late 1800s have contributed to the decline of their populations.
Another known reason for the striped hyena’s vulnerability is the current imbalance in the African grassland’s ecology. Although omnivorous, their principal food sources - the animals they prey on and the carcasses of large carnivores - are diminishing.
The only recourse left for the striped species is to forage for food in farms where there are available livestock and vegetation. These animals also venture into residential communities and their dumpsites where they can scavenge for food. However, this is a big risk for the animals as they are subject to attack by humans and instances they become road kill since they often travel alone under the cover of darkness.