CARACEL (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     1st April 2024        

Context: As the caracal continues on the path to extinction, individuals across India are recently trying to do what they can to save the iconic cat.


  • About: It is also called Persian lynx or African lynx, is a wild cat. Caracals are similar to lynxes, but are more related to the serval. Caracals are the fastest of the small cats.
  • Scientific name: Caracal caracal.
  • Habitat: Caracals predominantly inhabit rocky hills or grasslands.
  • Geographical Range: These wild cats are native to various regions including Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and arid locales in Pakistan and northwestern India.
  • Found in India: Kutch, and Ranthambhore.
  • Species Diversity: The caracal is just one among a diverse group of over 30 species of small wild cats.
  • Physical Characteristics: Medium-sized in stature, caracals possess a robust build, long legs, short faces, and distinctive long tufted ears.
  • Caracals boast uniformly reddish tan or sandy coats with lighter ventral parts and small reddish markings, complemented by long canine teeth.
  • Subspecies Variation: Within the caracal species, three distinct subspecies have been identified, indicating some regional differences in morphology or behavior.
  • IUCN Status: Critically Endangered.
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