Note from the writer: CCF has carried out a number of camera trapping surveys, and also maintains a network of cameras positioned for ongoing monitoring of the wildlife on our land. While we are mainly focussed on cheetahs, there are many other species out there, and the cameras will trigger no matter what passes them by. In this series of weekly blog entries, I will use these pictures to illustrate some of the wealth of animal life in Namibia - one species per week. I hope you will enjoy seeing a little more of our world here in the bush.
The Small-Spotted or Common Genet is a carnivore in the Viverrid family, and is the only genet that can be found outside of Africa. Its native range spans most of southern and eastern Africa, along with parts of the north coast, west Africa and the south-western portion of the Arabian peninsula. They have also been introduced into Europe where they are thriving throughout most of the Western mainland. No one knows how many Common Genets there actually are, but they seem to have an entirely appropriate name. The IUCN lists them as "Least Concern", and although their fur is occasionally used for human clothing, and a few communities do hunt them for food, there is little in the way of threats from humans.
The Common Genet is small and slender, measuring about 55cm (22") long, with a 50cm (20") tail, and weighing around 2kg (4.4 lbs). They have a broad diet consisting mainly of small mammals, birds, insects and fruit. They are generally found in woodland areas, or farmland, and are comfortable living close to human settlements. Here at CCF we frequently see them in the bushes around the centre and staff accommodations.
They are usually solitary, coming together only briefly to mate, and the young (in litters up up to six), will stay with their mothers for six months. While predominately nocturnal, they can often be found in the early morning and late afternoon.