Although caracal can be commonly found in the wild in South Africa, Botswana and southern Namibia, this slender mid-sized felid is considered rare throughout most of its range.
In South Africa, caracal is classed as Least Concern and the African populations fall under CITES Appendix II.
According to the CITES Trade Database, South Africa exported 1,058 live caracals between 2010-2020 to 39 countries globally. Most of these caracals were captive-bred, but 72 individuals were from wild origin.
Even though the capture and removal of wild caracals for captive breeding and trade is currently considered a minor conservation threat according to the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), it is concerning to see the high number of live caracals exported from the wild.