The African Golden Cat (Caracal aurata) is one of the three medium sized African wild cats. It occupies the central African forests whereas the Caracal ranges over the more arid regions and Servals occur in the moister habitats. African Golden Cats have been little studied but with ongoing deforestation and the bush meat trade in central Africa, this cat is likely increasingly threatened as it's habitat and prey species disappear.
Key Facts about African Golden Cats
~ Fur lies forward on neck ~
~ Very few studies ~
~ Endemic to Africa ~
African Golden Cat (Caracal aurata) Classification
African Golden Cats belong to the genus Caracal and the taxonomy or scientific classification of the African Golden Cat species is:
Kingdom: Animalia (animals)
Phylum: Chordata (vertebrates)
Class: Mammalia (mammals)
Order: Carnivora (carnivores)
Suborder: Feliformia (cat-like)
Subfamily: Felinae (small cats)
Species: Caracal aurata (African Golden Cat)
The scientific name for the African Golden Cat is Caracal aurata which is also known as the binomial name, species name, latin name, biological name or zoological name. Some use the term 'botanical name' however that term is only applicable to the plant kingdom (botany) and not the animal kingdom (zoology).
African Golden Cat (Caracal aurata) Subspecies
The last Felidae taxonomic revision in 2017 proposed the same two subspecies that have been recognized in the past, although further research is required:
1. Caracal aurata aurata - East and Central Africa (minimal spotting on coat)
2. Caracal aurata celidogaster - West Africa (distinct spotting on coat)
African Golden Cat Conservation and Research
The conservation status for African Golden Cats is Vulnerable (VU), and these forest dependent cats are highly threatened by forest clearing and bushmeat hunting in central Africa.
The following organizations are involved in wildlife research and conservation in Africa. Their efforts to secure tropical forest habitats for primates and other endangered forest species will also help conserve forest habitat for the vulnerable African Golden Cat:
Forest Carnivore Research in Uganda - African Golden Cat
Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network - African Forests
African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) - Tropical Forests
African Parks - Saving Wildlife
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) - Africa projects
Please support these organizations with their important work if you can. No matter the size of your contribution, every bit helps!
African Golden Cat Facts and Information
The following websites have well researched and authoritative information on African Golden Cats:
- African Golden Cat Status and Distribution Map - IUCN Red List
- African Golden Cat Detailed Information - IUCN Cat Specialist Group
- African Golden Cat Academic Literature pdf - IUCN Cat Specialist Group