The wild cats of Africa include big cats like the lion, cheetah and leopard, as well as small wild cats such as the caracal, serval and black-footed cat.
Africa is the second largest continent in the world, covering approximately 6% of the earth’s surface. It is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean (west) Mediterranean Sea (north), the Suez Canal, Red Sea and Sinai Peninsula (northeast) and the Indian Ocean (southeast). The largest country in Africa is Algeria. The country with the highest population is Nigeria. Based on research and archeological discoveries,
The climate of Africa is extremely diverse, including tropical (all twelve months have an average temperature of at least 64 °F) and subarctic regions. The northern part of Africa is mostly desert and extremely dry. The southern part of Africa consists of jungles, plains and steppes. Africa is believed to have more wildlife than any other place on earth. However, deforestation is resulting in significant wildlife habitat loss.
According to recent studies, Africa is losing its forests twice as fast as other countries in the world – an estimated 4 million hectares a year. One hectare is the equivalent of 2.471 acres.
African Wild Cats
Big Cats in Africa
The cheetah, leopard and lion are the big cats in Africa. Cheetahs and leopards can be found throughout most of Africa in isolated populations. Lions once roamed throughout Africa as well, but their population has been on a steep decline. They can no longer be found in North Africa, and less than 400 lions remain in West Africa.
Small Wild Cats in Africa
The caracal is a small wild cat that inhabits many regions in Africa. It is considered a relatively common cat in that region. African golden cats inhabit rainforests. The serval, a relative of the caracal and African golden cat, can be found throughout the Sahara, usually in savannas. The smallest wild cat in Africa is the black-footed cat.
Wild Cat Conservation Organizations in Africa
Many wild cat species in Africa are threatened, endangered or critically endangered. Below is a list of conservation organizations working to protect the Africa’s big and small wild cats.