Distribution and Habitat
The Serval lives mainly in savannas and open grasslands, but also in open forests, along the forest, in Mountain Heidegebieden and in reed fields around marshes. He lives mainly in areas with higher grass. It is found in most of Africa south of the Sahara (except for dense rainforests and very dry deserts) and in northwest Africa. The Serval has disappeared in densely populated areas as most of South Africa.
His diet consists of small mammals (to the size of a hare), lizards, snakes, birds and insects. Sometimes also fruits, fish and frogs are eaten and also young antelopes are sometimes hunted. The most important prey are mice, which he manages to find through his excellent hearing between the high grass or under the ground. Thanks to his long legs he can look over the high grass. The Maned Wolf living in South America, a Hondachtige, has been adapted in a similar way to the hunting of rodents in high grass areas.
His daily rhythm adapts to the prey: if there are many moth mice as Arvicanthis, then the Serval mainly hunts during the daytime, especially nocturnal mice as vlei and Dasymys general, then he hunts mainly at night. Once he has found a prey, he jumps the animal with a quick jump. Underground prey animals are dug out or pulled out of their lair with the long front legs. He can also grab birds with a jump from the air. The captured prey is beaten Parts of larger prey animals are stored underground. Poultry is also eaten. He can cause a lot of damage to poultry farmers.