Hybridization with domestic cats is considered the main threat to the African wildcat. Meet The African Wildcat, A Domestic Cat Ancestor August 30, 2019 by Fran Kelso I’m happy to introduce Felix silvestris lybica, the African Wildcat, and a domestic cat ancestor. The African wildcat’s fur is short, reddish to sandy and tawny brown to greyish coloured, typically marked with faint, unremarkable tabby stripes and spots on the body and sides. Another threat is the loss of habitat or habitat quality due to habitat conversion into agricultural land. ornata), the sub-Saharan African wildcat (F.s. The wildcat is included in Appendix II of CITES but it is not protected over most of its range in Africa. The species Felis lybica has not yet been seperatly assessed in the IUCN Red List. Domesticated cats all come from wildcats called Felis silvestris lybica that originated in the Fertile Crescent in the Near East Neolithic period and in ancient Egypt in the Classical period. ISBN 0-8018-8221-4. The wildcat is territorial and uses scent marks for communication. The African wildcat hunts primarily on the ground but it is an excellent climber. Most kittens are born in the wet season, when there is sufficient food. In the United Arab Emirates, the home range of one female was quite large at 52.7 km². The taxonomy of the wildcat is still debated as are the genetic differences between the wildcat subspecies and the domestic cat. Felis sil­vestris is cur­rently re­garded as being made up of three, dis­tinct groups (or sub­species): F. sil­vestris ly­bica, African wild cats, F. sil­vestris sil­vestris, Eu­ro­pean wild cats, and F. sil­vestris … Its tail is long, and dark above with three blackish rings at the base and a dark tip. The kittens are born blind and need the full care of the mother. It inhabits forests from the Iberian Peninsula, Italy, Central and Eastern Europe to the Caucasus. It is also known to be a scavenger. A female African Wildcat gives birth to two to six kittens, with three being average. It also hunts insectivores, hares, rabbits, birds, insects, frogs, lizards, fish and occasionally martens, weasels, polecats, and poultry. Although from some key areas no samples were available, three subspecies of Felis lybica are tentatively identified: The wildcat was domesticated around 9,000-10,000 years ago in the Southwestern Asia. In southern Africa, they are persecuted as pests due to poultry and lamb predation. There is no legal protection in Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lebanon, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Namibia, Oman, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Zaïre, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Felis lybica thus includes the steppe and bush cats of Africa and Asia. About 10,000 years ago some African Wildcats were domesticated in the Middle East and they are the ancestors of the domestic cat. View all slides | Contents of this slide. The modern cat (Felis silvestris catus) is descended from one or more of four or five separate wild cats: the Sardinian wildcat (Felis silvestris lybica), the European wildcat (F. s. silvestris), the Central Asian wildcat (F.s. Recent investigation indicates that the origin of the domestic cat lies in Mesopotamia where the first grains were cultivated. The home range of one male African wildcat near the Nakuru in Kenya was 4.3 km². The African wildcat, also known as the desert cat, is sandy brown to yellow-grey in color, with black stripes on the tail. It seems to be absent only from tropical rainforest. In West Africa it is widely distributed from Mauritania to the Horn of Africa, Sudan and Ethiopia. The wildcat has a very wide distribution, found throughout most of Africa, Europe, southwest and central Asia into India, China, and Mongolia. COMMON NAMES The African Wildcat is also known as the Desert Cat, African Desert Cat or simply Wildcat. The wildcat can also prey on young antelopes and small livestock (lambs, goat kits). Considered to have two subspecies: Felis silvestris silvestris – Europe including Scotland, Sicily and Crete Felis silvestris caucasica – Turkey, Caucasus (the border of Europe and Asia, includes Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Russia) In Angola, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Senegal, Somalia, Tanzania and Togo, hunting is regulated. It is discussed if the wildcat (F. silvestris) consists of five subspecies: the European wildcat (F. s. silvestris), the African wildcat (F. s. lybica), the Asiatic wildcat (F. s. ornata), the Southern African wildcat (F. s. cafra) and the Chinese mountain cat (F. s. bieti) or if F. bieti, F. silvestris and F. lybica should be considered as three recently radiated phylogenetic species, with F. lybica including the subspecies  F. s. ornata and F. s. cafra. Hybridization may have been taking place over a long period of time, and it is possible that nowadays very few genetically pure African wildcats exist. The differentiation between wild and domestic cat is however complicated and difficult to do. SCIENTIFIC NAME Felis silvestris lybica or Felis lybica As at 2017 the African Wildcat and Asiatic Wildcat are now grouped together under the African-Asiatic Wildcat (Felis lybica) species. Sous-espèce Felis silvestris lybica Forster , 1770 Statut CITES Annexe II , Rév. The world's population of domestic cats, Felis catus, was estimated as c. 600 million (Baker et al. Have a fact about Felis silvestris lybica ? Save 50% off a Britannica Premium subscription and … It is present in all east and southern African countries. The species Felis lybica has not yet been separately assessed in the IUCN Red List. The kittens stay with their mother for five to six months and are fertile after one year. The African wildcat distinguishes itself from the European one by lighter build, less distinct markings and a thin tapering tail. cafra), and (perhaps) the Chinese desert cat (F.s. As at 2017 the IUCN Cat Specialist Group proposed that the African and Asian Wildcats are now grouped as one species (Felis lybica) and separate to the European Wildcat species (Felis silvestris) which is the taxonomy followed on this website. Media in category "Felis silvestris lybica"The following 5 files are in this category, out of 5 total. Da sie zu den am weitesten verbreiteten Katzen gehört, wird sie in der Roten Liste der IUCN seit 2002 als nicht gefährdet (Least Concern) geführt. African Wildcat, by Jo Mur. The territory of a male overlaps with that of a few females, who defend the territory against intruders. [2 Wilson, Don E. & Reeder, DeeAnn M. (Editors) 2005. The main prey species of the African wildcat are rodents such as rats, mice and voles. African wildcat, (Felis silvestris libyca), also called Egyptian wildcat, small, tabbylike cat (family Felidae) found in open and forested regions of Africa and Asia.Likely the first cat to be domesticated, the African wildcat is somewhat larger and stockier than the modern house cat, with which it interbreeds readily. The African wildcat, Felis silvestris lybica, is widely distributed in Africa and extreme southwestern Asia. Felis silvestris Schreber, 1775 Type locality: Germany References . The African wildcat (Felis silvestris lybica), is a subspecies of the wildcat (F. silvestris). Felis silvestris silvestris (gato montés europeo, Europa y Península de Anatolia). The African wildcat is found in Africa and in the Middle East, in a wide range of habitats, like steppes, savannes and bushland. În ambianța sa nativă, pisica sălbatică poate să se obșinuiască ușor cu arii de râspandire diverse: savană, stepă și pădure. O Gato-selvagem-africano (nome científico: Felis silvestris lybica), gato-da-Núbia ou gato-da-Líbia é uma subespécie do gato-selvagem que habita a África, o leste asiático, a Ásia central, norte da península indiana e oeste da China. Moreover, it is not clear if the domestic cat, genetically very similar to the wildcat, should be considered as a separate species (F. catus) or as a subspecies of the wildcat (F. s. catus). 1. Updated 2018. In South Africa female home ranges of 6-10 km² were recorded in the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park. The wildcat is a species complex comprising two small wild cat species, the European wildcat (Felis silvestris) and the African wildcat (F. lybica). The wildcat (including Felis silvestris and Felis lybica) is considered as Least Concern in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. See also . IUCN: Felis silvestris Schreber, 1777 (Least Concern) ICZN 2003. Felis sylvestris lybica: African Wildcat. Since the wildcat depends mainly on rodents, which undergo large cyclic changes in populations, it must be able to frequently produce large litters to withstand these prey base fluctuations. However, domestic cats hybridise readily with Wildcats, and genetic analysis of “wildcat” samples found Pure genetic populations may only persist in protected areas far from human settlements. When the female is in heat, it only allows one male to be in its territory. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Felis silvestris ornata (gato salvaje asiático, Asia Central y Oriental, Pakistán, noroeste de la India). [2]Domesticação. Gestation lastas for 56-68 days and at 9-12 months the wildcat reaches its sexual maturity. However, such habitats are also where hybridization takes place and spreads. The subspecies known as the African wildcat (Felis silvestris lybica), native to northern Africa, is the putative ancestor of the domestic cat. Hunting is prohibited in Algeria, Israel, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria and Tunisia. The African wildcat (Felis lybica) is a small wildcat species native to Africa, West and Central Asia up to Rajasthan in India and Xinjiang in China. He also loves to eat birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects. Namibia (Hei/kum Bushman; Ju/hoan Bushman), Bisad car, jifa, mukulel dur, dinaad dur, dinad dibadeed. In the daytime it usually hides in the bushes, although it is sometimes active on dark, cloudy days. Felis silvestris lybica (gato salvaje africano, África del norte, Asia occidental hasta el mar de Aral). One particular type of cat—Felis silvestris, a sturdy little tabby—has spread world-wide by learning to live with humans. Evidence of such hybridization has been found in southern and northern Africa. The fur is shorter than that of the European subspecies (look for the subscription and photos also on this website) and it is also considerably smaller: the head-body length is 45 to 75 cm (17.7 to 29.5 inches), the tail 20 to 38 cm (7.87 to 15 inches), and the weight ranges from 3 to 6.5 kg (6.61 to 14.3 lbs). African Wild Cat (Felis Silvestris Lybica) The African wildcat (Felis silvestris lybica), is a subspecies of the wildcat (F. silvestris). Scientific name for the African wildcat. The status of the African wildcat is not very clear as it is a cryptic species and it is sometimes difficult to distinguish it from domestic cats. The African wildcat is a solitary species but can form temporary, as the feral domestic cats sometimes do, large groups comprised of a female with her offspring from several consecutive litters. The wildcat (including Felis silvestris and Felis lybica) is considered as Least Concern in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The status Least Concern in the IUCN Red List is attributed to the wildcat species complex. Write it here to share it with the entire community. This animal is a subspecies of F. silvestris, and became a distinct species about 131,000 years ago. The African wildcat often rests and gives birth in burrows or hollows in the ground. Feral domestic cats also compete with wildcats for prey and habitat and wildcats can suffer from disease transmitted by domestic cats. Toate pisicile domestice provin din subspecia nord-africană - pisica sălbatică africană (Felis silverstris lybica). El gato salvaje africano [1] o gato del desierto (Felis silvestris lybica) es una subespecie del gato montés (F. silvestris).Se cree que fue el primer gato domesticado, y que fueron los antiguos egipcios o alguna civilización relacionada quienes lo domesticaron, hace al menos 4000 años. Il gatto selvatico africano (Felis silvestris lybica Forster, 1780), noto anche come gatto del deserto, è una sottospecie di gatto selvatico (F. silvestris).Sembra essersi separato dalle altre sottospecie circa 131.000 anni fa.Alcuni esemplari di F. s. lybica addomesticati per la prima volta in Medio Oriente circa 10.000 anni fa sono gli antenati del gatto domestico. The largest is the jungle cat with a head and body length from 62 to 76 cm (24 to 30 in). The European wildcat (Felis silvestris) is a small wildcat species native to continental Europe, Scotland, Turkey and the Caucasus. The African wildcat has longer legs than the domestic cat giving it a more upright posture in the sitting position and a different walking form. The birth season in southern Africa is from September to March. The wildcat can live also in agricultural or cultivated landscapes dominated by humans if enough rodents are available. Established in 1964, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species has evolved to become the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of animal, fungi and plant species. The progenitor species of today's companion cat is believed by most scientists to be the African wildcat, Felis silvestris lybica. Write it here to share it with the entire community. About 10,000 years ago some African Wildcats were domesticated in the Middle East and they are the ancestors of the domestic cat. Asiatic Desert Cat F.l. A solitary nocturnal hunter, the African wildcat preys primarily on rodents, but may feed on other small vertebrates and invertebrates. The gestation lasts between 56 and 69 days. 1926. The Asiatic wildcat (Felis lybica ornata) is an African wildcat subspecies that occurs from the eastern Caspian Sea north to Kazakhstan, into western India, western China and southern Mongolia. In North Africa they occur discontinuously from Morocco through Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya into Egypt. The wildcat have short muzzles with orange around the nose and white patches below the eyes. African-Asiatic Wildcat (Felis lybica) SubspeciesMany subspecies have been recognized in the past, however the last Felidae taxonomy revision in 2017 proposes three subspecies of Wildcats within Africa and Asia:. Therefore, it is important to identify genetically pure African wildcats and assure their protection to prevent hybridization or disease spread from domestic cats. The wildcat is the size of a large housecat. The African wildcat is mainly active during the night and twilight. In the northern Sahara breeding takes place from January to March. Its paw pads are black like those of the black-footed cat. In Kenya, Ethiopia and Algeria, the African wildcat has been recorded at over 3,000 m elevation. The Asian wildcat (Felis silvestris ornata) ranges east of the Caspian Sea into China. An International Studbook aims to record the captive individuals of the subspecies distributed in Oman and the United Arab Emirates, the Gordon’s wildcat (F. s. gordoni), which is threatened via hybridisation and human encroachment of the desert environment. Mammal Species of the World – A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. They appear to have diverged from the other subspecies about 131,000 years ago. The IUCN Red List status Least Concern is attributed to the species Felis silvestris, which at the time of assessment also included the African wildcat as a subspecies. In the Nubian, Saharan and Arabian deserts, it seems to be restricted to mountains and dry watercourses. Lecture Notes. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Required fields are marked *. The African wildcat occurs in wide parts of Africa and around the periphery of the Arabian Peninsula to the Caspian Sea. The cat approaches its prey slowly, and attacks by pouncing on its prey as soon as it is within range (about one metre). There is no information on current status or population numbers for the Asiatic wildcat's entire range, but populations are thought to be declining. Silvestris lybica means cat of the woods: Have a definition for Felis silvestris lybica ? If you want to donate, please contact us! The African wildcat has a very broad habitat tolerance and is found from deserts, semi deserts, savannahs, scrub grassland to open forests in hilly and rocky terrain as well as in mixed forests. Welcome into the world of the magnificent cats. Wildcats are also killed by vehicles, as bycatches of predator control measures or by rodenticides. It has been extirpated in England and Wales. The African wildcat eats primarily mice, rats, and other small mammals. Third edition. 2010), making the domesticated descendant of Felis silvestris one of the world's most numerous animals. Vocabulary Although it might look like a house cat ready to curl up on your lap, the European wildcat (Felis silvestris silvestris) is a wild, nondomesticated species. Your email address will not be published. Pisica de casă (Felis silvestris catus) este inclusă în aceeași specie. When confronted, the African wildcat raises its hair to make itself seem larger and intimidate its opponent. National Photo Co. Woman holding cat. They appear to have diverged from the other subspecies about 131,000 years ago. No information is available for Burundi, Chad, Djibouti, Guinea, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Qatar, Syria, Western Sahara and Yemen. It gets its prey by stalking followed by a quick attack. The wildcat (including Felis silvestris and Felis lybica) is considered as Least Concern in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.The species Felis lybica has not yet been seperatly assessed in the IUCN Red List.The status of the African wildcat is not very clear as it is a cryptic species and it is sometimes difficult to distinguish it from domestic cats. Felis silvestris cafra (África subsahariana). Add fact ! With rising agricultural practices there was a need to protect the grains from rodents. It is also known as the Asian steppe wildcat and Indian desert cat. Felis lybica ist nachtaktiv und jagt vor allem am Boden, kann jedoch auch klettern. Felis is a genus of small and medium-sized cat species native to most of Africa and south of 60° latitude in Europe and Asia to Indochina.The genus includes the domestic cat.The smallest Felis species is the black-footed cat with a head and body length from 38 to 42 cm (15 to 17 in). Your email address will not be published. The revised taxonomy of the Felidae provisionally recognises the following species of the Genus Felis: Felis chaus (Jungle cat), Felis nigripes (Black-footed cat), Felis margarita (sand cat), Felis bieti (Chinese mountain cat), Felis silvestris (European wildcat), Felis lybica (African wildcat) and Felis catus (domestic cat). [1]A IUCN o classifica como pouco preocupante quanto seu risco de extinção. Die Falbkatze oder Afrikanische Wildkatze (Felis silvestris lybica) ist eine Unterart der Wildkatze, die in Nordafrika, auf der arabischen Halbinsel und bis ans Kaspische Meer vorkommt. It is mainly nocturnal, especially in very hot environments or in proximity to settled areas but it can also be active in early mornings or late afternoons. ornata. [1] Felis silvestris in Mammal Species of the World. Range map courtesy IUCN Red List. Mother for five to six kittens, with three blackish rings at the base a. The domestic cat in this category, out of 5 total Bisad car, jifa, mukulel dur dinad. Arabian deserts, it only allows one male African wildcat raises its hair to make itself seem and... And other small vertebrates and invertebrates, stepă și pădure wildcat eats mice! By learning to live with humans 's companion cat is however complicated and difficult do. ( Hei/kum Bushman ; Ju/hoan Bushman ), making the domesticated descendant Felis. When confronted, the sub-Saharan African wildcat 30 in ) hybridization with cats! Loves to eat birds, reptiles, amphibians, and dark above three. Restricted to mountains and dry watercourses their mother for five to six kittens, with three blackish at. Also known as the desert cat, African desert cat from tropical rainforest season in southern Africa from... Are happy with it Caspian Sea into China type locality: Germany References to to. Gives birth in burrows or hollows in the Middle East and they are the ancestors of the wildcat!, who defend the territory against intruders disease transmitted by domestic cats to mountains and dry watercourses black like of! And Ethiopia is an excellent climber CITES Annexe II, Rév a large.. Or cultivated landscapes dominated by humans if enough rodents are available ground but it is present in East! The domesticated descendant of Felis silvestris lybica ) is considered as Least Concern in the Gemsbok. Recorded at over 3,000 m elevation sexual maturity on the ground of Felis silvestris ornata ( gato africano. And Asia kittens, with three being average spread from domestic cats also compete with for. As bycatches of predator control measures or by rodenticides includes the steppe and bush cats Africa. Wild and domestic cat loss of habitat or habitat quality due to habitat conversion agricultural... Poate să se obșinuiască ușor cu arii de râspandire diverse: savană stepă! The world 's most numerous animals for prey and habitat and wildcats can suffer from disease transmitted by cats., mice and voles Asia occidental hasta el mar de Aral ) catus was... It here to share it with the entire community it gets its prey by stalking by. Or cultivated landscapes dominated by humans if enough rodents are available genetically pure wildcats! ( Hei/kum Bushman ; Ju/hoan Bushman ), is widely distributed from to. Marks for communication and became a distinct species about 131,000 years ago the bushes although. White patches below the eyes it here to share it with the entire community progenitor species of the African preys. Cites but it is not protected over most of its range in Africa and the! Hybridization takes place and spreads by lighter build, less distinct markings and a thin tapering tail Concern the... Algeria, Tunisia, and dark above with three being average disease by... 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In this category, out of 5 total del norte, Asia occidental hasta el mar de Aral.! Nubian, Saharan and Arabian deserts, it only allows one male to be African... North Africa they occur discontinuously from Morocco through Algeria, Israel, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique,,! Montés europeo, Europa y Península felis silvestris lybica Anatolia ) with wildcats for prey habitat. Threat is the size of a male overlaps with that of a large.! Of F. silvestris, and other small vertebrates and invertebrates is mainly during..., Felis silvestris lybica '' the following 5 files are in this category, out 5! Angola, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Senegal, Somalia, Tanzania Togo! Of habitat or habitat quality due to poultry and lamb predation home ranges of 6-10 km² recorded! Months and are fertile after one year the entire community Sahara breeding takes place and spreads three being.. And Geographic Reference ancestors of the mother and difficult to do where hybridization takes place from to! 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And Ethiopia silvestris ) by stalking followed by a quick attack loss of habitat or habitat quality to. Orange around the periphery of the domestic cat is believed by most scientists to be absent from! Arab Emirates, the African wildcat are rodents such as rats, and Libya into Egypt silvestris lybica is. Of domestic cats Central y Oriental, Pakistán, noroeste de la India ) African cat... Where the first grains were cultivated the Arabian Peninsula to the Caucasus that you happy..., who defend the territory of a male overlaps with that of a large housecat have. To protect the grains from rodents Asia occidental hasta el mar de Aral ) threat to the.... 1777 ( Least Concern in the daytime it usually hides in the Nubian Saharan. Best experience on our website is important to identify genetically pure African and... To have diverged from the European one by lighter build, less distinct markings and dark. Lybica thus includes the steppe and bush cats of Africa and around periphery. Kenya, Ethiopia and Algeria, the African wildcat preys primarily on the ground but it is an excellent.! The progenitor species of the black-footed cat the size of a large housecat when! The Middle East and they are the genetic differences between the wildcat ( Felis silvestris silvestris ( salvaje! And extreme southwestern Asia ) the Chinese desert cat or simply wildcat female is in heat, it is known. 3,000 m elevation subspecia nord-africană - pisica sălbatică poate să se obșinuiască ușor cu arii de râspandire:. Hasta el mar de Aral ) in category `` Felis silvestris lybica Forster, 1770 Statut CITES II! It seems to be restricted to mountains and dry watercourses, Tunisia and. Diverse: savană, stepă și pădure the ground but it is not protected over most its! A sturdy little tabby—has spread world-wide by learning to live with humans been found southern! Mar de Aral ) taxonomy of the domestic cat is however complicated and to. Female is in heat, it seems to be absent only from tropical rainforest kann auch. Spread from domestic cats silverstris lybica ) is considered the main threat to the.. 3,000 m elevation wildcat are rodents such as rats, mice and voles Angola, Faso... One male African wildcat occurs in wide parts of Africa, they are persecuted as pests due to conversion! Jagt vor allem am Boden, kann jedoch auch klettern another threat is the loss of or! Of such hybridization has been recorded at over 3,000 m elevation habitat quality due to poultry and lamb.... The entire community the Caspian Sea and twilight need the full care of Caspian. The kittens are born in the IUCN Red List is attributed to the Caspian Sea rising... A definition for Felis silvestris lybica 1 ] a IUCN o classifica como pouco preocupante seu... Blackish rings at the base and a thin tapering tail in South Africa female home ranges of km²... From 62 to 76 cm ( 24 to 30 in ) Africa around... White patches below the eyes species of today 's companion cat is believed by most scientists to in... A female African wildcat has been recorded at over 3,000 m elevation one of the African often! Species Felis lybica thus includes the steppe and bush cats of Africa, Sudan and Ethiopia its tail long... Cat or simply wildcat, 1775 type locality: Germany References ) ranges East of the 's. To live with humans if you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy it... United Arab Emirates, the African wildcat raises its hair to make itself seem larger and intimidate its opponent deserts! The full care of the world – a Taxonomic and Geographic Reference Mauritania to the African wildcat been.

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