I have been surveying African biodiversity, first in southern Africa to understand the potential impacts of extensive small-livestock farming and protected area on wildlife and the factors influencing people-wildlife interactions. I now work in West Africa on wildcats, notably leopards and African golden cats, with the aim of developing regional conservation strategies.
In arid rangelands in South Africa, we highlighted that species richness was as high as in adjacent protected areas, although large carnivores were absent. Some species like caracals can even thrive on farmlands, due to the absence of larger competitors and the abundance of human-produced foods in the form of sheep. Negative interactions with farmers are common as caracals can prey on livestock.