Conservation African wildcat

Conservation African wildcat

Project Animal(s) : African wildcat (Felis lybica)
Project Category : Mammals
Project Region : Africa
Project Type : Conservation
Project URL :
Project is timebound? : No

The wildcat is included in Appendix II of CITES but it is not protected over most of its range in Africa. Hunting is prohibited in Algeria, Israel, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria and Tunisia. In Angola, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Senegal, Somalia, Tanzania and Togo, hunting is regulated. There is no legal protection in Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lebanon, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Namibia, Oman, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Zaïre, Zambia and Zimbabwe. No information is available for Burundi, Chad, Djibouti, Guinea, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Qatar, Syria, Western Sahara and Yemen.

The wildcat can live also in agricultural or cultivated landscapes dominated by humans if enough rodents are available. However, such habitats are also where hybridization takes place and spreads. Therefore, it is important to identify genetically pure African wildcats and assure their protection to prevent hybridization or disease spread from domestic cats. The differentiation between wild and domestic cat is however complicated and difficult to do. An International Studbook aims to record the captive individuals of the subspecies distributed in Oman and the United Arab Emirates, the Gordon’s wildcat (F. s. gordoni), which is threatened via hybridisation and human encroachment of the desert environment.

Project Agency : Cat Specialist Group

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