I've been doing oil painting for about a year now and this was the first time I painted just for the sake of it, as all my previous works have been commissions. I took Visual Arts in Matric, but quickly moved away from acrylic to ink and mixed-media works, and only recently discovered painting in … Continue reading Caracal necropsy paintings
Ongoing student protests at UCT have really slowed things down, as many of my student volunteers have been unable to come to campus. It has been a very tumultuous time, with anxiety levels high. As a result I have not managed to process many samples. Nevertheless, there have been a few interesting ones! One of … Continue reading A few more caracal lunches, and some mystery claws!
This project has challenged me in many ways so far, not least because I took it on so late in the year. I feel under constant time pressure with so much to catch up on and get done. Thankfully, I have a team of wonderful student volunteers who are passionate about carnivore biology and conservation! … Continue reading Appreciation post
I was fortunate enough to attend the annual South African Wildlife Management Association symposium in Tzaneen, Limpopo last week. I presented some of the preliminary findings on the Cape Town caracals' diet, focusing on the differences between two methods (kills found at GPS clusters and scat). We had to make a poster and also give … Continue reading SAWMA symposium 2016
Here are a few of the more interesting prey items found in the scat analysis so far. Most of the samples contain mammalian prey items (i.e. composed mainly of hair), and of those, most seem to be rodent. I still need to go through all those with hair and look at cross-sections under the microscope to … Continue reading Some (very) preliminary findings
One of the first things I did was look up some old illustrations of caracal, justing to get a feeling for how they are viewed by artists and the sort of settings in which they are usually portrayed. Here are some of the images I found. Interestingly the prey items are all birds!
I was lucky enough to join in on some field work action... This involves setting traps to catch the cats (much trickier than it sounds!) and investigating GPS clusters (i.e. points where the cats have been hanging out for a while) to find evidence of kills and scat, which I'm using for my diet analysis.