04 February 2014

The Elusiveness

There are two species of Genet in this part of the world, the Large-Spotted Genet and the Small-Spotted Genet. At most locations the Large-Spotted Genet has been the more frequently camera trapped one of the two, but at Koeberg the Small-Spotted Genet seems to be the Genet of choice.

Unfortunately I believe the two Genet species are exchanging tips on how to dodge my camera traps. I've had bad luck with the Large-Spotted Genet somehow always finding a way to not look at the camera and now the Small-Spotted Genet seems to be following suit. (See one of my older posts over here.)

Small-Spotted Genet (Kleinkolmuskeljaatkat - Genetta genetta) on the coastal dunes at Koeberg

For the above shot I had to tilt the camera trap down to focus on the rodent hole, but if you step back a few paces the scenery looks like this.

My camera trap hard at work with the infamous Table Mountain in the background

When these genets aren't either sliding past too close to the camera or walking in the wrong direction, they try to run past before the camera has time to wake up...

Another glorious tail waving us goodbye

Maybe they are overly proud of their fabulously ringed tails and try to make it the centre of attention, or maybe the tails are attention hogs, demanding to be in every photograph. Who knows?

I'm pretty sure it isn't in reaction to the flash. If the flash was bothering them then I would expect to see them coming at the camera at least once and then avoid it, but these guys are heading in the wrong direction or running past from the get go, whether it is a white flash or IR camera doesn't seem to matter much either.

Regardless every now and again they are bound to slip up and then I get a shot at a good photo.

But alas, the camera trap goddess is a mysterious beast that both giveth and taketh away (often at the same time)...

Wow perfect shot! O, wait, no, why is it all fuzzy...?

If it wasn't for the coastal mist this would have been a perfect portrait of a Small-Spotted Genet.

Interestingly this is almost an exact copy of a great photo I got of a Large-Spotted Genet a while back. (See the old post over here.)

Back then the lady of the camera trap was in a good mood and smiled on my endeavours. But I will not despair. This is the "month of love" after all and like any love struck fool I'll endure her antics and stay true. Always longing for that next moment of sweet rapture.


  1. Beautiful location Henry! Have you tried putting something smelly on the ground at the midpoint of the camera's field of view. A lot of times this can make the animal stop and smell even if just for a second and prevent it from making it most of the way through the frame before the camera wakes up. Even collected scat may do the trick.

    We also deal with the mist/fog on our cameras here in Coastal California. I feel your pain.

  2. Sorry you missed the perfect portrait you wanted Henry, but I think mist adds wonderful atmosphere and I love your genet in the mist. Always enjoy your blog, many thanks.

  3. Thanks for the comments :)
    @JK: I've found that, in general, Genets respond very well to bait, but sadly by now I've also found that I'm not much of a baiter myself :P For some reason I don't use bait and scents very often. (I most frequently use sunflower seeds for rodents.)
    @Jules: Yes I agree, the mist adds an element of "random mother nature" to the photograph, which is nice ;)

  4. Genets are a class act. A bottle of synthetic civetone would call them in well, and if you dabbed some of it on a vertical stump they'd do a hand stand for you (marking it, of course). You might even succeed in creating a habitual marking post that would be visited by Civettictis too.