Caracal

“To put the cat among the pigeons” was phrased on caracals, as they were once trained for hunting game birds for Persian and Indian royalty

StuPorts

‘Caracal’ means ‘black ear’ in Turkish, ‘karakulak’; they have tawny or reddish gold fur with a white chin, throat, and underside. They can be easily recognized with their large and pointy ears tipped with black tufts, which are their trademark. Those tufts can be used to communicate with other caracals and enhance sound going into their ears.

Their speed and agility make them supreme hunters, tackling prey up to three times larger than their size. Their coats provide camouflage, and their feet are cushioned with stiff fur, making them nearly silent stalkers. They cannot digest the prey’s fur, so they remove it with sharp claws before eating.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Afghanistan
2014
Algeria
2014
Angola
2014
Benin
2014
Botswana
2014
Burkina Faso
2014
Burundi
2014
Presence Uncertain
Cameroon
2014
Central Af. Rep.
2014
Chad
2014
Côte D’ivoire
2014
DR Congo (Kinshasa)
2014
Djibouti
2014
Egypt
2014
Eritrea
2014
Eswatini
2014
Ethiopia
2014
Gambia
2014
Ghana
2014
Guinea-Bissau
2014
Guinea
2014
India
2014
Iran
2014
Iraq
2014
Israel
few 100's
2014
Jordan
2014
Kazakhstan
2014
Kenya
2014
Kuwait
2014
Lebanon
2014
Lesotho
2014
Libya
2014
Malawi
2014
Mali
2014
Mauritania
2014
Morocco
2014
Mozambique
2014
Namibia
2014
Niger
2014
Nigeria
2014
Oman
2014
Pakistan
2014
Saudi Arabia
2014
Senegal
2014
Somalia
2014
South Africa
2014
Sudan
2014
Syria
2014
Tajikistan
2014
Tanzania
2014
Togo
2014
Tunisia
2014
Turkey
2014
Turkmenistan
2014
UAE
2014
Uganda
2014
Uzbekistan
2014
Yemen
2014
Zambia
2014
Zimbabwe
2014

Did you know?

  • The distinctive ear tufts serve as a “flag” to convey an animal’s status, attitude, and intention.
  • They can leap up to 1.8 m (6 ft) high on their powerful muscular hind legs to strike birds in midair. Sometimes, they would climb trees, pounce on nests and hide their prey just like leopards.
  • They are also called “desert lynx” or “Persian lynx” and were previously regarded as true lynxes based on superficial resemblance but that view was discredited with detailed studies. They are not lynx.
  • They miaow, hiss, or spit according to their mood, just like any other cat, but distinctive “coughing calls” can be heard from caracal during mating season.
  • Caracal is vulnerable to a variety of pressures and threats that differ in extent and intensity as a result of its wide geographic distribution ( across Asia, North Africa, and at least 36 Sub-Saharan African countries), which includes a broad spectrum of conditions, leading to their extremely diverse local population trends.
  • Caracals are frequently prosecuted because they are capable of taking small domestic livestock. Habitat destruction, fragmentation by linear infrastructure, road kills, and attacks by feral dogs are threats they encounter at various places.
  •  According to a recent study, caracals around Cape Town City regularly hunt in places where there is a higher danger of exposure to organochlorines. Their blood and fat tissues are found to be contaminated with harmful “forever-chemicals”.

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No