Friday, September 25, 2020

African Wild Cat ( Felis Lybica )

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The African wildcat (Felis silvestris lybica) is one of the small wild cat, among other African cat species  .if we consider African wild cat size they seem a little plain but Male wild cats weigh between 4-5 kg, slightly more than mature females. they stand around 0.25 meters tall at the shoulder, less than a metre long although this still makes them bigger than almost all domestic cats. They own extremely well developed hearing organs able to detect the most imperceptible movements before the source appears this is allowing them to locate prey to including rodents, hares, birds, and lizards. The African wildcat’s fur is light sandy grey, its belly and throat is a white colour and slightly tufted ears. They are nocturnal animals.

Like numerous different cats, females give birth to between two and five blind baby cats. They can propagate quickly, with growth lasting just two months. Next five to six months with their mother, kittens leave home to find their own territory, and they will be sexually ready at one year old.

Sound of African wild cats 

History of African Wild Cat

Consequences of genetic research indicate that the African wildcat deviated into three clades approximately 173,000 years ago.

  • The Near Eastern wildcat.
  • Southern African wildcat.
  • Asiatic wildcat.

Historical Evidence 

  • African wildcats were first tamed about 10,000 years ago in the Near East, and are the ancestors of the domestic cat.
  • Six thousand years ago, Egyptians domesticated the African Wild Cat to control mice and rats raiding granaries.
  • In Cyprus, an African wildcat was discovered in a burial site next to a human skeleton in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B settlement Shillourokambos. The graves are estimated to have been established by Neolithic farmers about 9,500 years ago and are the first known proof for a close relationship between a human and a wild cats.

Above historical Evidence shows that the wildcat may have been tamed or domesticated a long time ago and they are not just cats.

 

Threats of the African Wild cats

Approximately African wild cats population but the IUCN claims that their population is decreasing. It’s certainly less than 600 million. It’s probably not more than 100,000.

Their occurrence as a species is threatened by similar factors impacting other wildcats, such as leopards and lions. Primarily their habitat is being lost through destruction, degradation and fragmentation.

 Lions and leopards are hunted; African wild cats experience from a different human challenge. They are bred and hybridised with domestic cats, so it’s tough to find an original African wildcat among them. The two threats supplement each other in a dangerous alliance. Habitat loss forces wildcats to agricultural landscapes where they can still hunt rodents. Here they mate with domestic cats, which spreads lethal infection and kills off coming wildcats populations..

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