Recently I was interviewed by Andy Varvel of the "Cats of the Wild" podcast about what life is like for caracals living on the urban edge of Cape Town. Have a listen! Here is a link to the episode: https://www.catsofthewild.com/episodes/the-city-of-the-caracal and you can also catch it on Apple Podcasts / Spotify /Google Podcasts. We cover … Continue reading Cats of the Wild podcast interview
I recently hit another milestone by finally getting my first PhD chapter published! It's been a few years in the works. The process started right from simply cataloguing samples, to identifying caracal prey remains from scat and at kill sites, to presenting my preliminary (and then less preliminary!) work, to analysing data, and finally submitting … Continue reading Another project milestone: first PhD paper published!
SAWMA 2019 was held in Wilderness this year, which meant that it was nice and easy for UCT students to attend. A group of iCWild students drove up en masse and stayed in various AirBnBs and hotels around the tiny town. We enjoyed several days of very interesting talks surrounded by the coastal fynbos and … Continue reading SAWMA symposium 2019
The caracal samples finally arrived on the 10th May 2019! I was so relieved when Pablo (the fantastic lab technician at IREC) handed me the box. We immediately unpacked the samples and set to testing the clean-up methods we'd been practicing on three caracal samples. Looking at the results of these tests we found the … Continue reading Trip report: Spanish adventures in ecotoxicology
Last year my supervisors and I worked hard on securing funding to get my samples tested for exposure to environmental pollutants. In June 2018 we were delighted to hear we got it! The Table Mountain Fund granted us the full funding for the testing... However, I still needed to arrange my own personal funding in … Continue reading Urban Caracal Project goes to Spain!
I'm excited to say that I've managed to get going on my third chapter's data collection! We're planning to use stable isotope analysis (SIA) to explore longer-term, integrative trends in Cape Peninsula caracal feeding ecology. Essentially what this means for me is that I'm spending a lot of time with minuscule pieces of hair (again). … Continue reading Starting that stable isotope stuff (finally)
Last week I attended the 10th International URBIO conference that was conveniently held in Woodstock, Cape Town. My supervisors Laurel Serieys and Justin O'Riain were also in attendance, and it was great to have such a strong iCWild contingent there. URBIO (International Network for Urban Biodiversity and Design) describe themselves as "an open worldwide network … Continue reading URBIO Conference 2018
It looks like I'll be working on urban caracals for a bit longer! As my project developed my supervisors and I made the decision, about 6 months ago, that it had the scope to be upgraded to a PhD. I knew I wanted to do my doctorate but I needed to decide whether I wanted … Continue reading The big ‘upgrade’
We recently did another "necropsy day" for some of the roadkill collected on the project. There were two caracals and a genet. We were lucky enough to have Dorothy Breed there to help - she's the Cape Town city wildlife vet. She came to help with one of the caracals which had been hit by … Continue reading More morbid necropsy art