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African golden cat, Caracal aurata

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(in Rukiga)


African golden cat

(in English)

Engaging local people to improve their lives whilst reducing threats to the African golden cat and other wildlife.


We are small wild cat lovers engaging and empowering local people living in close proximity with small wild cats to reduce threats to wildlife. Our favorite is the African golden cat. We love it. We strive to protect the African golden cat in Uganda and across its range.

In Uganda, we are a registered Community Based Conservation Organization (CBO)  Registration Number: RBD/616/CBO/014/2021

In Africa, we are part-of and coordinating the newly created African golden cat Conservation Alliance and Working Group (AGCCA & WG). The role of the AGCCA & WG is to expand and oversee the conservation of the African golden cat across the species range.

The African golden cat

Caracal aurata

The African golden cat is Africa's least known wild cat species. It is only found in the forests of equatorial Africa (green polygon on the map). However, the African golden cat may be extinct in some areas of its estimated range (red polygon on the map). The African golden cat is listed as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)'s Red List of threatened species. Only a few field locations for African golden cat presence have been ascertained (golden dots on the map). Please let us know (in the contact section at the bottom of the page or let's chat) If you know of other locations with ascertained African golden cat presence but not shown on this map. 


Our conservation and research work in Uganda has inspired and supports passionate individuals in the species range countries to start conservation initiatives to save the African golden cat in their countries. Embaka is honoured and humbled to spearhead this movement.   


We work with local people adjacent to three of four  protected areas in Uganda known to have the African golden cat; 1) Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, 2) Echuya Forest Reserve, 3) Kasyoha-Kitomi Forest Reserve and 4) Buhoma Forest Reserve

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We are saving the African golden cat in Uganda

We identify threats together with local people and wildlife managers. We then empower local people to implement threat reduction solutions, whilst improving local livelihood and oral health care. At Bwindi only, 1373 local families have joined our Anti-Poaching Community Watch Groups. And we are still counting! 


Estimating African golden cat population

We started by estimating the number of African golden cats at our project sites. African golden cat numbers were 50% lower in areas with poaching. Poaching is a serious threat to African golden cats.


Understanding the ecology of the African golden cat

We now understand the factors behind the ecology (habitat use and temporal activity patterns) of the African golden cat. African golden cats avoid areas with poaching and avoid times of day when people are present inside the forest.


Identifying threats to African golden cats in Uganda

We have combined our ecological and socio-science research and local people engagement to identify threats. Incidental capture of African golden cats in poaching snares and traps as "collateral damage" is a serious threat to African golden cats. The other (but negligible) threat is human-African golden cat conflict when the cats kill livestock and poultry.


Reducing threats to African golden cats

We engage and empower local people to reduce threats to African golden cats. Our interventions dissuade human threats to wildlife whilst improving livelihood and oral health care.


We combine cutting-edge and robust biological research, social-science research and local people engagement

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Camera trapping

Using motion-triggered cameras to automatically record pictures and videos of the African golden cat. We then apply robust data analytics to learn about the secretive lives of African golden cats.

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Local People as Protectors

We actively engage local people to identify threats and threat reduction interventions.


 Piglets for Bushmeat "P4B"

We engage and empower local people through pig farming ("pig seed banks") to 

improve household income, dissuade poaching, promote community policing and generate social pressure against poaching.


Smile for Conservation

We use mobile dental units to provide free dental care and treatment to local people living around protected areas. In return, local people provide voluntary community policing against poaching.



We work with local people living at the frontline of protected areas which African golden cats call home. Our longterm esteemed partners include the Institute of Tropical Forest Conservation, Uganda Wildlife Authority, National Forestry Authority, and the Small Wild cat Conservation Foundation.

Contact Embaka

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