1. Renee Bunn 0 Period Biology 4/28/11 Leptailurus Serval
2. Name + Classification
The leptailurus serval was formerly classified as felis serval
Its scientific name is also its common name: leptailurus serval
It is a member of the Felidae family
3. Physical Description
Relatively small head
4. Geographical Range
Predominately found in South Africa, especially Zimbabwe
There are many servals inthe province of Natal
Small populations exist in the Atlas Mountains
Some have been found in Algeria, Morocco, Ethiopia, & South of the Sahara
Due to relocation efforts, members of this species can now be found in northern Tanzania
Leptailurus servals are typically found in reed beds and grasslands, in rather dry climates. They also spend time in forest brush, bamboo thickets, marshes, & streams.
6. Food Habits
93.5% small mammals (rats, mice, & shrews)
Remaining % is occasionally lizards, frogs, & insects
7. Human Interactions
African servals have become accustomed to people and motor vehicles due to tourism, farming, and relocation. Servals prey on rare occasions on dogs and livestock (poultry).
African servals are part of the exotic pet trade. One domestic cat breed, savannah, is a mix between tabbys and servals. The pelt of servals is valuable and used to make mantles worn by chiefs in native tribes. Servals may also encourage ecotourism, which is common in Tanzania where most servals reside.
8. Life Span
Estimated to be approximately 10 years in the wild
The longest leptailurus serval lifespan recorded was about 23 years
Canniff, T. 2011. "Leptailurus serval" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 29, 2011 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Leptailurus_serval.html.
Cat Specialist Group 2002. In IUCN 2008.2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCNRedList.org . Downloaded July 19, 2008.
Tree of Life Web Project. 2008. Leptailurus serval. Serval. Version 26 September 2008 (temporary). http://tolweb.org/Leptailurus_serval/123547/2008.09.26 in The Tree of Life Web Project,http://tolweb.org