Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Camera Trap Highlights: New Mammals for SCBC Lists

During the month of June two cameras (one SCBC camera and the other belong to a Medike resident) were left on a tree next to a remote mountain road one camera was low down facing north and the other was higher up facing south. The site was chosen due to the amount of animal spoor on track and we were targeting Brown Hyaena. We have seen the tracks, but never managed to get a shot of the animal. The location paid off. The cameras were left for nearly a month and we were surprised to discover just how busy that road was.

The footage we got included two new cats, Caracal and Serval. Some bad footage of another new mammal, the Red Duiker (not included in this post). Two leopards, a big tom and a smaller leopard (possibly a female) and some nice footage of a Jameson’s Red Rock Rabbit (not a new mammal species, but the first time we have managed to get an image).
Brown Hyaena, Hyaena brunnea

The Caracal or Rooi Kat (Caracal caracal)

A large male Leopard (Panthera pardus)
A smaller Leopard, possible female.
Unfortunately on of the cameras was removed by hunters. They obviously though the camera was a security device and removed it to eliminate evidence. This is quite a big blow as we only had the one camera. But luckily we have the footage of the new mammals.

Serval (Leptailurus serval subsp. serval)

Another highlight included in this post was captured by Alan Carr in April. The footage clearly shows an African Wild Cat, Felis lybica, this is the ancestor of the domestic cat. This animal is threatened because it freely hybridizes with the house cat, polluting the gene pool.

African Wild Cat, Felis silvestris subsp. cafra

Finally a rather special species for our list was captured one night in May. The camera was set close to a pool of water in the hope of capturing a Water Mongoose. Instead we captured a brief video of the rarely seen Selous’s Mongoose.

Selous's Mongoose, Paracynictis selousi subsp. selousi