This year the South African Wildlife Management Association symposium was held in the Western Cape, at Goudini Spa in the Boland. This was great for the Urban Caracal Project, as it was a short drive from Cape Town. I presented some of the early diet results and spoke about some of the management implications. These … Continue reading SAWMA symposium 2017
The past week has seen me back at the Iziko South African museum in Company's Garden in town. It was a rat-run, pun intended. In my previous trips I was working with Graham Avery on identifying bird and larger mammal bones. This time around I met with his wife, Margaret Avery, who is an expert on … Continue reading Of mice and museums
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!
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.
I was advised that keeping a virtual journal of my studies would be a good idea... So this is just a brief introduction. I'm an MSc Biological Sciences student in my first year of study at the University of Cape Town. My research aim is to investigate the diet of caracal (aka "rooikat") living and … Continue reading No such thing as a free caracal lunch