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!
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