Have you seen any large spotted genets in your area or on your property? Are large spotted genets resting in your roof, garage or property? If your answer is ‘yes’, you can make a valuable contribution to the conservation of these animals.
Large spotted genets (Genetta tigrina) are small (1.5 to 3.2kg), exclusively nocturnal carnivores. Their body is elongated with spots and other dark markings that vary from black to a rusty colour, and they have a long white-ringed tail.
As land use changes, especially with expanding urban areas and human population, many animals are affected negatively. However, some, like large spotted genets, appear to be able to use and survive in urban environments and in particular appear to find refuge in suburbia for resting in during the day.
They also appear to make use of the artificial lights that attract their nocturnal insect prey.
To date, there is no published data on large spotted genets in urban areas. A MSc research project is being conducted by Craig Widdows (School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg campus) under the supervision of Professor CT Downs, on the home range and habitat use of large spotted genets in an urban landscape. We would be grateful for any sightings or feedback that you may have on large spotted genets in the greater Durban area.
If you have genets on your property or information about them, please contact Craig Widdows on 083 781 8725 or e-mail email@example.com.