International Society For Endangered Cats

A Voice For The Wild Cats of the World

Caracal Cat Documentary Needs Help

The Caracal Documentary Project is a documentary in the works that will attempt to foster a dialogue about the efforts to bridge the conflict that goes on in southern Namibia, South Africa, between livestock ranchers and the Caracal Cat.

Today, Caracal cats are killed by livestock farmers who fear the cats preying on their livestock. But what researcher Aletris Neils has found, and talks about in the video, is that these cats do more good for ranch lands than the ranchers themselves understand. Caracals are diet-specific, meaning they can be made to not prey on livestock. The greatest benefit from this is that one Caracal on the territory can fend off other cats.

With your help, we can put a stop to the eradication of these cats and bring a better dialogue for understanding the complex relationships on the ranch lands. Anything you can give us would be beneficial for these elegant creatures and also for the ranchers themselves.

The goal for this documentary is multifold. First and foremost, we want to introduce the Caracal Cat to the rest of the world as the magnificent and beautiful creature. We also want to draw attention to the ongoing discussion now in Namibia started by Aletris Neils and her conservation efforts with the support of the local ranching population. Finally, we want to ensure that any misconceptions is cleared up: there are no villains in this situation, just multiple players in a complicated situation that needs a solution.

The CDP aims to raise the awareness on these beautiful big cats so the world can participate in the discussion on how to best handle these creatures. The ranchers, many of whom have already been very welcoming and supportive of the research, are already ready to talk.

This is not a simple story. There are no bad guys or good guys. There is only us. If we do not all work together, then it may become too late and the beautiful Caracals in the region may soon be eradicated.

Help us introduce these cats to the world. Let us bring the voice of the ranchers into the boardrooms of policy makers. Let us all make a difference.

This project will only be funded if Kickstarter raises $1675 in the next 7 DAYS. Please help these innocent cats if you can!

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3 responses to “Caracal Cat Documentary Needs Help

  1. David March 8, 2012 at 5:39 am

    Protecting the caracal (like any other wild animals ) before it becomes extinct is a run to a civilisation against barbarism !

  2. melofshanoah April 3, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Caracals are quite common in sub-Saharan Africa and, worldwide, are classified as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species (Garman, 1997; Wildscreen, 2011; Breitenmoser-Wursten, Henschel, & Sogbohoussou, 2008). They are less common in the northern parts of their range, where the primary limiting factor is habitat loss (Breitenmoser-Wursten, Henschel, & Sogbohoussou, 2008) or harsh winters in Kazakhstan (Cat Specialist Group, 2006). In fact, the caracal is extremely common in South Africa and Namibia and preys on domestic livestock to the point that it has been classified by the government as a Problem Animal, which permits killing without restriction (Breitenmoser-Wursten, Henschel, & Sogbohoussou, 2008). In 1981, Namibian farmers reported killing up to 2,800 caracals (Breitenmoser-Wursten, Henschel, & Sogbohoussou, 2008). In spite of this, the caracal is generally not under threat from game hunting or poaching (Garman, 1997), its population has persisted and remains widespread (Breitenmoser-Wursten, Henschel, & Sogbohoussou, 2008), and its “population does not seem to be suffering” (Wildscreen, 2011, para. 7). Because caracals take easily acquired prey such as domestic livestock mostly in the colder winter months as an energy-saving strategy, domestic predation may be more of a problem in winter (Cat Specialist Group, 2006).

    Here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnqiBEb9imw) is an interesting video explaining how Anatolian Shepherd Dogs are used in Namibia to protect domestic livestock from cheetahs and other predators (such as caracals) so that the farmers no longer need to kill the predators to protect their livelihood and feed their children. In addition to electric and reinforced fences and other protective means, my own family used to have to shoot coyotes, bobcats, and the occasional mountain lion to protect our goats and chickens, yet we still lost some animals when the predators got through our defenses. After obtaining a Great Pyrenees dog, we lost **not one** goat or chicken to local predators and we stopped shooting the local predators, which then moved on to other targets not protected by a huge, scary dog–so I know from experience how effective obtaining a single sheepdog can be at protecting your livestock.

    My point is twofold. First, that caracals are so common in South Africa and Namibia that the IUCN is not going to list them as Near Threatened or Vulnerable or Endangered in the near future, so there will not be any sort of legal requirement to protect the species in those two countries; therefore, any efforts to educate farmers not to kill the cats which are literally eating away their livelihood simply because they’re pretty and cool is totally useless. Remember that you’re speaking to a completely different culture, one which is more concerned with feeding their children at any cost than in protecting threatened species like the cheetah (classified Vulnerable), much less extremely common species like the caracal. Second, that simpler techniques such as providing the farmers with sheepdogs is both cost-effective and successful at decreasing the farmers’ need and therefore inclination to kill local predators.

    • melofshanoah April 3, 2013 at 12:35 pm

      References
      Breitenmoser-Wursten, C., Henschel, P. & Sogbohossou, E. 2008. Caracal caracal. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. Retrieved 5 March 2013 from
      Cat Specialist Group (2006). Caracal. IUCN/SCC. Retrieved 5 March 2013 from
      Garman, A. (1997). Caracal: Caracal caracal. Big Cats On Line. Retrieved 5 March 2013 from
      Wildscreen (2011). Caracal (Caracal caracal). ARKive. Retrieved 5 March 2013 from

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