What is it about?

We recorded active predation on Cape dune mole-rat and rock hyrax by African wildcat in the Western Cape, South Africa. We also provide updated records for African wildcat distribution. This is the first evidence of predation on Cape dune mole-rat, the largest subterranean mammal in the world and an endemic species, by African wildcat. Rock hyrax is the largest prey species recorded for African wildcats to date.

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Why is it important?

African wildcats generally prefer to feed on small rodents and predation on mammals larger than 500g is thought to be a rare event. These are novel records.


It is exciting to record rare and novel behaviour of different species using by-catch by camera traps that have been set up to record another species - in this case, leopards. I believe it is important to share these findings as there is so much we can learn even without necessarily asking the relevant questions in the first place.

Eugene Greyling
Stellenbosch University

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This page is a summary of: Photographic evidence of predation on Cape dune mole‐rat ( Bathyergus suillus ) and rock hyrax ( Procavia capensis ) by African wildcat ( Felis lybica cafra ), African Journal of Ecology, June 2022, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/aje.13040.
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