Kibale National Park, Uganda





African golden catProfelis aurata

The secretive African golden cat (Profelis aurata / Caracal aurata) is Africa’s only forest dependent feline. Though severely threatened by rampant deforestation and the bushmeat trade, almost nothing was known about this species until very recently. Though a few studies had investigated their diet in conjunction with leopards and other carnivores, nothing was known about their basic ecology. Their conservation status of Near Threatened (IUCN Red List) was tentatively assigned based on what little data existed at the time. Basic ecological data is essential if we are to ensure that conservation measures are effective for a given species. Thus, in 2010, Panthera initiated two in situ studies of this previously neglected species - one in Gabon headed by Laila Bahaa-el-din and one in Uganda headed by myself. Our project was started in Kibale National Park, Uganda, in cooperation with WCS Uganda's Albertine Rift Program.


Primary goals

  • To fill in missing natural history data
  • To determine essential habitat requirements
  • To assess adaptability to human altered landscapes
  • To describe ecological niche in the absence of apex predator (or as secondary apex predator)


Popular articles

Bahaa-el-din, L., D. Mills (2013). The Phantom Feline Revisited. SWARA April - June 2013: 59-62. 

Mills, D, S. Isoke, A. Plumptre, R. Slotow & L. Hunter (2012). Systematic survey efforts of the African golden cat – Part 2. Results from Uganda. CATnews 57: 16-19.