Another exciting snap of a caracal has been captured in Cape Town. This time, on the iconic Chapman’s Peak Drive. The gorgeous picture was shared by the Mother City’s very own Urban Caracal Project this morning.
The project confirmed that a couple of cats have been spotted crossing the road to hunt rock hyrax and seabirds from the cliffs below the road. Please take care when driving.
A caracal is a medium-sized, robustly built cat with long, powerful legs, large paws, a short tail and ear tips with long hair tufts. In South Africa, the caracal is also known as a ‘rooikat’ or ‘lynx.’
In Cape Town, the typical male caracals weighs around 13 kilograms, while the females are around 9 kilograms. They are the largest carnivores on the Cape Peninsula, though outside of Cape Town, there are leopards which are considerably larger. Caracals, like most cats, are curious animals, and while they do not like developed areas per se, young ones especially are too curious not to occasionally explore areas with a lot of human activity.
The Urban Caracal Project aims to protect biodiversity through research and conservation. It operates through the Institute for Communities and Wildlife in Africa (iCWild) at the University of Cape Town.
The Cape Town metropolitan region, which includes the Table Mountain National Park, is a fragmented habitat for caracals, with a likely population size of 48-64 Caracals. With Cape Town’s rapid urbanisation, caracals are the city’s largest remaining indigenous predator.
Urbanisation equals increased threat on caracals. Humans impact the landscape which has downstream consequences for biodiversity conservation. So, it’s refreshing to see kittens being born and increased sightings of Caracal life.
Look at this magnificent caracal with the perfect backdrop for a winning shot:
Ways to support the project:
Please immediately report all road kill caracals in the Cape Town area (ie., the Peninsula and outer suburbs) to Dr. Serieys at [email protected] or 079 837 8814.
The project relies exclusively on donations and grant support that has funded everything from GPS-collars and caracal tracking efforts, genetic analyses, supplies, pesticide and disease testing, health assessments, and many more!
- Report caracal sightings HERE.
Its current project expenses are focused on supporting the work of a PhD student, Gabriella Leighton, as she wraps up her urban caracal project at the University of Cape Town. Any amount helps and 100% of donations go to the project:
Standard Bank of South Africa Limited
Beneficiary Reference: iCWild Urban Caracal
Account name: UCT Donations Account
Branch name: Rondebosch
Branch code: 025009
Branch address: Belmont Road, Rondebosch 7700, Cape Town
Account number: 071522387
Type of account: Current
Swift address: SBZAZAJJ
To assist with prompt identification and processing of donations, please include an abbreviated donor name and donation purpose in the bank reference field.