Intaka Island, Century City’s award-winning, 16-hectare wetlands and conservation area, is home to 177 species of indigenous fynbos plants and 120 bird species. However, what you don’t expect when birding is seeing a caracal! This beautiful, shy cat has been spotted at a few places across the island over the last few months.
The caracal or ‘rooikat’ is a medium-sized rufous-fawn cat with distinctive tufted black ears, creamy underbelly with faded orange spots, and long legs. Its face has exquisite markings, and it has light green to orange eyes.
“It is incredibly special to see a caracal on Intaka Island,” says Louise de Roubaix, Environmental & Horticulture Manager at Century City Property Owners’ Association.
“As Intaka Island is a Conservation area, it is vital that we retain and protect the animals in their natural environment as much as possible, which means limiting disturbance, direct contact, or feeding. Let’s respect and admire our wild animals from a distance.”
Take a look at the snaps:
This majestic cat is quite the hunter, too. It was captured hunting in a similar area last year. Same cat or potential partner?
Take a look:
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.
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.
Picture: Stacey-Lee Roberts