30 January 2010

The Hunt Is On

This Caracal (Rooikat) on the rock looks ready to pounce on something

The Moultrie game camera has been having a great run lately. It was my first camera and while it might be old, slow and take unclear pictures, it still manages to pleasantly surprise me from time to time.

It wasn't long before I got my first full body picture of a Caracal. I think there must be a very dense population of Caracal on Tygerberg. I only started camera trapping on Tygerberg this month and I already got 3 "sightings" of Caracal. They seem to be much more common here than compared to Kirstenbosch. In fact here at Tygerberg I have thus far photographed more Caracals than anything else (except for Four-striped Grass Mice)...

The Bushnell have been having a hard time. I placed the camera in a new location last Monday and by Tuesday it managed to fill the SD card with images of warm leaves... Hopefully things turn around this week for the Bushnell.


  1. Methinks the dense population of caracals has something to do with the dense population of four-striped mice.

  2. Methinks youthinks right things. There is apparently somebody doing research on Caracals at Tygerberg at the moment and I might try to get in contact with her to find out a little more...

    It's still early days to make assumptions from my camera trapping, but because of the small size of the reserve and the high population of Caracal I think they might affect other small mammal predators like Cape Fox, Small Grey Mongoose and Small-spotted Genet... But then again it's just speculation.

    It's safe to assume the birds of prey are also after the mice and there are lots of them around.

  3. You might be interested in the "mesopredator release effect (or hypothesis)." Has to do with top carnivores (megapredators) being extirpated and dogs and cats being added to the mesopredator cohort, resulting in overpredation on prey species esp the rarer ones. Easy to find on the internet. Suspect this is more of a problem in Florida than Africa, but maybe not? Just one more thing to worry about, for all the good it will do.