Caracal, which was used by India’s nobility in the sport of coursing like the cheetah, is struggling to survive, although both species had a similar distribution in the past.
- The Asiatic caracal is a medium-sized and locally threatened cat species, which has been widely reported to be on the brink of extinction in India.
- It is also known by its persian name Siyahgosh or ‘black ears’.
- They are found mostly in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh and are located in Kutch, the Malwa Plateau, the Aravalli hill range.
- Besides India, the caracal is found in several dozen countries across Africa, the Middle East, Central and South Asia.
- It occurs in semi-deserts, steppes, savannah, scrubland, dry forest and moist woodland or evergreen forest.
- It prefers open terrain and drier, scrubby, arid habitats and needs cover.
- Large-scale hunting, illegal trading and loss of natural habitats are considered significant threats to the species.
- Protection Status:
- IUCN Red List: Least Concern
- Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule I
- CITES: Appendix I