Black-footed Cat Research in South Africa

BFC working group logoThe Zoo supports field research on black-footed cats. Since 2004, a group of scientists and veterinarians working together as the Black-Footed Cat Working Group (BFCWG) have been studying black-footed cats in South Africa. The BFCWG aims to conserve this rare cat species by furthering awareness and conducting multidisciplinary research on the species’ biology, Black-footed cat fieldworkdistribution, ecology, health, and reproduction over an extended period.

Once a cat is taken in, researchers take a variety of measurements and samples are taken and fit a radio collar. Over time, this generates valuable data regarding the behavior, ecology, genetics, and health of the wild black-footed cat population. Additionally, sperm collected from wild males can be imported into the United States (once frozen) and used to artificially inseminate females in zoos to infuse genetic diversity into the zoo population.