DISTRIBUTION AND HABITAT
Africa. Reed beds, swamps, grass savannas. It prefers moist habitats and often inhabits areas along rivers or riparian forests.
He leads a solitary and territorial lifestyle. Mostly active at dusk and at night. During the rainy season, it also hunts during the day. He locates prey mainly on the basis of perfect hearing. Ability to exercise high and long jumps make it easier to catch prey in tall grass, and birds in flight. He also extracts the victim from cracks and holes.
It hunts small mammals, mainly rats and mice, and birds, lizards, snakes, frogs, fish and insects. It rarely kills livestock: poultry, young sheep and goats.
Sexual maturity is reached at the age of 18-24 months. Gestation: 73 days. The female gives birth to 2 to 4 young, who become independent at the age of 6-8 months. Life expectancy: up to 22 years.
GOOD TO KNOW
The main threat to the serval is the loss and degradation of wetland habitat mostly caused by increasing urbanization and land use changes.
- Latin name: Leptailurus serval
- IUCN –Red List – LC – least concern
- CITES – Appendix II