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The Diet of Caracal, Caracal caracal, in Two Areas of the Southern Cape, South Africa as Determined by Scat Analysis

Braczkowski, Alexander, Watson, Laurence, Coulson, Damien, Lucas, John, Peiser, Barry, Rossi, Monique
South African journal of wildlife research 2012 v.42 no.2 pp. 111-116
Caracal caracal, Tragelaphus, agricultural land, carnivores, coasts, conservation areas, diet, farmers, landscapes, livestock, rats, vegetation, wildlife, South Africa
Caracal (Caracal caracal) diet in southern Africa has primarily been quantified in protected areas dominated by natural vegetation. Here we present data on the diet of caracal ranging in two coastal landscapes (George and Vleesbaai, South Africa) with considerable anthropogenic modification (pine plantation and agricultural land). In terms of the corrected frequency of occurrence (CFO), rodents dominated the diet (>70%) and the vlei rat (Otomys irroratus) formed the bulk in terms of volume of the rodents recorded in the diet at both sites. Bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus) formed an important component of the diet in George (11.4% CFO) while small carnivores comprised 11.6% CFO in Vleesbaai. Although our results are relevant in light of the extensively modified vegetation of this part of South Africa's coastal region, they are unlikely to represent the full extent of the diet in Vleesbaai, as farmers in this region regularly report livestock losses attributed to caracal.