Over a dozen cameras are being installed to prevent caracal from attacking penguins at the Boulders penguin colony in Simon’s Town.
The security measures follow several attacks on penguins last year (“To catch – not kill – a ‘mocking’ caracal”, People’s Post, 27 September 2016).
To ensure the safety of the penguins, Table Mountain National Park and the City of Cape Town have launched a joint integrated capturing campaign. Once captured the caracal will be collared and released back, says Sanparks regional ecologist Carly Cowell.
“This way its movements can be tracked and authorities alerted if it moves back towards the Boulders area,” she says.
The City undertook to relocate two caracals last year, after noting a substantial increase in attacks by one or more caracal on the African penguin colony in Simon’s Town. Images of the predator were captured on camera, confirming the presence of a large caracal (“Caracal behind penguin killings”, People’s Post, 12 July 2016).
In addition to the 13 camera traps, which will determine the animal’s location and movement, temporary predator-proof fencing will also be installed and ranger patrols will be increased. Various noise deterrent measures are also being implemented.