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However, Smithers (1971) doubted the validity of two subspecies, and his thought is shared by Sliwa (2013) who suggests that the species may be polymorphic in the centre of its range but does exhibit on some geocline variations towards the extremes of its range.
The northern race typically tends to be paler with less distinct striping whereas the southern race has a more tawny appearance with bolder patterning.
In South Africa, where the majority of research effort has taken place, recent records suggest range expansions in virtually all directions from previous literature (Wilson 2016.). However, we suspect that area of occupancy is considerably lower, due to sensitivity to environmental disturbances and threats (Sliwa 2013).
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Black-footed Cats have the most restricted distribution of any of the African felid species (Nowell and Jackson 1996). 2014) is considered highly unlikely and certainly no records exist to date.
The species is endemic to the arid grasslands, dwarf shrub, and savannah of the Karoo and Kalahari in southern Africa. Apart from Addo Elephant National Park and Mountain Zebra National Park in the Eastern Cape Province, and SA Lombard Nature Reserve in North West Province, there appears to be no consistent sightings of Black-footed Cats in formally protected areas, despite considerable research effort and game drive reporting (Wilson 2016).
However, defining subpopulations for this species needs further work.
We also caution that these estimates will be confounded by uneven sampling across the range, thus leading to inaccurate density isopleths.