Distribution: Africa, Middle East, Central Asia, and India.
Habitat: Savannah Grasslands.
Conservation Status: Least Concerned.
Population: Data Deficient.
The caracal is a medium-sized wild cat native to Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and India. The caracal is characterised by a robust build, long legs, a short face, long tufted ears, and long canine teeth. Its coat is uniformly reddish tan or sandy, while the ventral parts are lighter with small reddish markings. It reaches 16–20 in at the shoulder and weighs 18–40 lb. It was first scientifically described by German naturalist Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber in 1777. Eight subspecies are recognised. Typically nocturnal, the caracal is highly secretive and difficult to observe. It is territorial, and lives mainly alone or in pairs. The caracal is a carnivore that typically preys upon small mammals, birds, and rodents. It can leap higher than 9.8 ft and catch birds in midair. It stalks its prey until it is within 16 ft of it, after which it runs it down, the prey being killed by a bite to the throat or to the back of the neck. Caracals have been tamed and used for hunting since the time of ancient Egypt. The caracal inhabits forests, savannas, marshy lowlands, semideserts, and scrub forests. Dry areas with low rainfall and availability of cover are preferred. The caracal is categorised as least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources; In central, west, north, and northeast Africa and Asia, the major threat to the survival of the caracal is habitat loss due to agricultural expansion and desertification. Caracal are often killed in retaliation for preying on small livestock. Some tribes kill it for its meat. However, Namibia and South Africa recognise it as a "problem animal" (vermin) and allow its hunting to protect livestock. Caracals occur in a number of protected areas across their range. #caracal #wildcats #endangeredspecies #endangeredanimals #endpoaching #wildlife #conservation #wildlifeconservation #poaching #habitatdestruction