Thursday, December 04, 2008

ACR Goes to Africa...

In researching for our African Wildcat (AWC) project, we travelled to Africa to meet with several conservation organizations, game reserves, and a veterinary school. The intent of the trip was to gather as much information about the AWC as possible (which game reserves have them, who has breeding programs, where large populations of feral cats exist, etc.) and to find out which groups would be interested in assisting us with our project.

Our first meeting was with the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT); which is located beside the Johannesburg Zoo. We spoke with the Trust’s Carnivore Conservation Group. Their main focus right now is on saving the wild dogs (feral domestic dogs transmit rabies to the wild dogs), but they are more than willing to help us with statistical information regarding the AWC. They are working with a scientist (who is working on her PhD in the Kalahari on the AWC), who we have also been in contact with. So, we are excited to hear what she learned through her detailed study. (This is another problem facing the AWC; no real studies have been conducted. At the moment, there is not a lot of statistical information on them: where populations exist, the numbers that exist, the rate of hybridization, etc. Most studies are conducted on the larger cats: cheetahs, leopards, tigers, lions.) Therefore, her study will definitely be an attribute to our project.

(Johannesburg Zoo)

More information about our trip to come...

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