U.S. Group Asks South African Farmers and Veterinarians To Help Preserve the Vulnerable African Wildcat
MT. RAINIER, Md., Jan. 12, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Alley Cat Rescue, Inc. (ACR) is urging South African farmers and veterinarians to assist in preserving the African wildcat (Felis l. cafra).
The African wildcat, or AWC, has been labeled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as in decline. This is due in part to habitat loss and hunting, but also to hybridization through breeding with domestic cats. The most effective way to prevent hybridization is to spay/neuter outdoor cats – those that are feral as well as those that work to control rodents on farmland – and then return the cats to their outdoor homes. This is known as trap-neuter-return (TNR).
To help preserve the AWC, Alley Cat Rescue is urging all South African farmers to sterilize their domestic cats, and hopes that the veterinary community there will facilitate this by making the process as convenient and affordable as possible for barn cats.
Alley Cat Rescue has been involved with preserving the wildcat subspecies, Felis l. cafra, for many years. The organization is now expanding its focus geographically from South Africa to any territory Felis lybica inhabits via their new African wildcat Project. The Project has begun collecting data from individuals in these areas on ACR’s Facebook group (facebook.com/ACRAWCProject) . Those reporting sightings are asked to provide the sighting date, location, and notable physical characteristics. The goal of the African Wildcat Project is to create a map of AWC distribution that will aid ACR and other conservation groups in monitoring the species’ population.
Alley Cat Rescue is encouraging anyone in South Africa who has personally seen an AWC to report the sighting via their Facebook page or survey at surveymonkey.com/r/AWCReport.
ACR President, Louise Holton is passionate about this iconic species. “We need to preserve this beautiful small wildcat…Cats make great companions but we do need to control their numbers, using humane nonlethal methods, which work more effectively than killing.”
For more information about African Wildcats and ACR’s conservation projects, visit http://www.saveacat.org/african-wildcats.html.
Alley Cat Rescue is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to the welfare of all cats: domestic, stray, abandoned, feral, and small wildcat species. ACR advocates for humane nonlethal control of feral cats. For more information about ACR, visit their website http://www.saveacat.org.
Deborah Holzer, Alley Cat Rescue, 8189274130, [email protected]
SOURCE Alley Cat Rescue
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