African golden cat (Caracal aurata)
Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 202523358
Helping the African golden cat discovered in Mpem et Djim National Park in Cameroon, to persist in challenging livelihood context
The golden cat hereafter AGC, is considered an elusive species and reported to be very rare over its range, and among the least known carnivores in Africa. This species is particularly sensitive to traditional hunting for subsistence using snares and reported being often caught in hunters’ snares. Occurring in forests and forest-savannah mosaics of West and Central Africa, the AGC is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List and is threatened throughout its range by habitat degradation, habitat loss, fragmentation, and by poaching. Most specifically, Hunting for subsistence and illegal wildlife trade, driven by poor economic condition of local people around protected areas, threatens the survival of this species and immediate action is needed to ensure persistence of the AGC over its range. This project aim at influencing local perception toward the AGC, actively reduce snare traps and provide species distribution and occupancy information in Mpem et Djim National Park, Cameroon. These will be achieved using a household survey and an awareness raising campaign, a transect survey and a camera trap survey.
1-Household survey: we will use questionnaire surveys to assess the human-wildlife conflict and the impact on poaching and local perception of the golden cat around the park 2-Awareness raising campaign: we will use a combination of entertainment and environmental education about ecological and cultural importance of the golden to influence the local belief and superstitions around the golden cat using distribution of posters with a message of hope for golden cat to be glued in houses, oral questions to be posed to students with symbolic rewards to participants 3-Camera trapping: three camera-trap grids will be consecutively deployed in the Northern, Central and the southern sector of the MpDNP, each grid consisting of 20 camera-traps systematically deployed at a density one camera per 2 km² in a regular 5 x 4 rectangular grid. This will allow gathering information on the golden cat occupancy. 4-Recce survey: we will use 50 one km transect lines spaced out with one km recce survey to record threats to the species in the area including signs of hunting, logging, farmland, camps, Livestock, and Tracks. During this activity, all traditional snares will be removed with the help of rangers.
Project 202523358 location - Cameroon, Africa