Fewer and weaker offspring : Snare injuries decrease reproductive performance of female hyenas in the Serengeti

Indiscriminate snaring for bushmeat hunting may have varying collateral effects on non-target species, ranging from mild injuries to death. Beyond immediate mortalities these effects are rarely examined. A team of scientists now analyzed the life-history consequences of debilitating snare injuries in individually known female spotted hyenas between 1987 and 2020 in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. The long-term data revealed that injuries did not decrease the age expectancy of the hyenas, but hampered their reproductive performance. Debilitating injuries caused by snares delayed their age at first reproduction, decreased the size of their litters and reduced the survival of their offspring.