Skip to main content

Is the African Wild Cat Endangered?

According to the 'experts', the African wildcat is not endangered. The conservation status of this small wild cat species is "Least Concern" with a declining population. As the population is decreasing then no doubt in the future the status will become more precarious, heading gradually towards endangerment in the long term.




African wildcat - photo in public domain
 One complication about writing this post is that the group of experts charged with assessing the conservation status of species of animals and plants, The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, ball together several subspecies of wild cat (Felis Sylvestris) and do not distinguish between the African wildcat which itself could be divided between the North African and South African wild cat or the Scottish wild cat as far as I can tell (they do refer to the Chinese mountain cat separately). And therefore when I mention above that the classification is "Least Concern" I'm referring to a group of subspecies of wild cat. Note: there is an ongoing discussion about the classification of the wildcat.

And don't forget that I'm discussing a particular species are wild cat. Another complication is the name of this cat. It is the same name given to all wild cats including the tiger and lion. But the "wild cat" or "wildcat" is a definitive species and in the same bracket or family of cats as the domestic cat.

To conclude, the African wildcat is not endangered but in due course no doubt it will be. Incidentally, the full range of classifications regarding conservation of species is: extinct (fully extinct both in the wild and otherwise), extinct in the wild, critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable, near threatened, least concern.

You can see therefore that the African wildcat is at the very end of the range of conservation statuses: the best and where the assessment is that the cat is not under pressure or under a conservation threat. An interesting aspect about this species of wild cat is that there has been a lot of hybridization due to breeding with domestic cats and therefore it may be the case that there are very few purebred African wildcats in Africa or Asia.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Cat Ear Mites

Brown gunge. Yes, I know this is a ferret! It does show the build up of dark brown to black ear wax caused by the presence of the cat ear mites in the outer ear canal. This parasite is not restricted to the domestic cat, which makes this photo valid and a useful illustration (I was unable to find a suitable photo of a cat with the condition). Photo Stacy Lynn Baum under a creative commons license. Ear mites (minute crab like creatures) are one of the causes of inflammation of the outer ear canal (scientific term for this inflammation is Otitis externa ). The outer ear canal is the tube that runs from outside to the ear drum (the pathway for the reception of sound), which can be seen when looking at the ear. Otitis externa affects humans and often swimmers as it is called "swimmer's ear" in humans. This YouTube video show ear mites under a microscope. They are not actually in the ear in this video. There are many possible causes of Otitis externa in c

Feline Mange

I'll write about three types of feline mange (a) feline scabies or head mange (b) demodectic mange and (c) sarcoptic mange. The source material is from Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook - the best on the market . Generalised feline mange? Puerto Rico - Photo by Gotham City Lost And Found Feline Scabies - head mange Head mange or feline scabies, is a fairly rare condition in cats, which is caused by the Notoedres mite (head mite) that only reproduces on cats. The female mites burrow a few millimeters (that is a lot) into the skin around the head, and neck to lay eggs, which hatch and lay their own eggs. Their presence and activities causes intense itching that in turn causes the cat to scratch. The scratching will obviously be noticed and it will cause the skin to become red, scratched and worse infected. Symptoms: hair loss and scabs, thick wrinkled skin and grey/yellow crusts form plus the symptoms of scratching. Feline mange (head mange) is contagious and tr

Cat Anatomy

Cat Anatomy - Photo by Curious Expeditions . The picture above was taken at Wax Anatomical Models at La Specola in Florence, Italy. The photograph is published under a creative commons license kindly granted by the photographer. I am sorry if it is a bit gruesome. It is pretty well all I could find as an illustration that was licensed for publication. Cat Anatomy is a very wide ranging subject. The anatomy of a cat is very similar to human anatomy. If you were writing a biology book for students of biology you would go through every part of the a cat's anatomy in some detail. It would be similar to writing a book about the human anatomy. It would be a thick book and pretty boring for your average internet surfer. So, how do you limit such a big subject and make this post meaningful? The answer I think lies in doing two things: Having a quick general look at cat anatomy - an overview and; Focusing on the areas of cat anatomy that are particular to the cat and of parti