Diet of lions and spotted hyaenas assessed from stomach contents

Analyses of stomach contents was used to assess the diet of lions and spotted hyaenas in the Central District of Kruger National Park. Of 257 lion and 167 spotted hyaena stomachs examined 47,1% and 10,8% respectively, were empty. The relative edible biomass contributed by each prey animal to the diet of lions is given. For spotted hyaenas the relative importance of each prey animal was assessed by considering both frequency of occurrence and the amount found in each stomach. During the lambing season, spotted hyaenas were feeding almost exclusively on impala and it was concluded that they were killing mainly small game animals and that most medium and large prey animals were being scavenged. Feeding habits were similar to those reported for other dense woodland habitats but different to those for open areas such as Ngorongoro and Kalahari Gemsbok National Park where larger prey were more important. These differences are related to prey composition, and environmental conditions which influence prey survival, vulnerability to predation and hunting behaviour.

Last Updated
April 1, 2021