Funded! This project was successfully funded on March 12, 2012.

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A documentary that will attempt to shed light on the ongoing conflict in Namibia, Africa between livestock ranchers and the Caracal Cat

An all too important discussion needing attention

The Caracal Documentary Project is a documentary in the works that will attempt to foster a dialogue about the efforts to bridge the conflict that goes on in southern Namibia, South Africa, between livestock ranchers and the Caracal Cat. 

Today, Caracal cats are killed by livestock farmers who fear the cats preying on their livestock. But what researcher Aletris Neils has found, and talks about in the video, is that these cats do more good for ranch lands than the ranchers themselves understand. Caracals are diet-specific, meaning they can be made to not prey on livestock. The greatest benefit from this is that one Caracal on the territory can fend off other cats. 

With your help, we can put a stop to the eradication of these cats and bring a better dialogue for understanding the complex relationships on the ranch lands. Anything you can give us would be beneficial for these elegant creatures and also for the ranchers themselves.  

The goal for this documentary is multifold. First and foremost, we want to introduce the Caracal Cat to the rest of the world as the magnificent and beautiful creature. We also want to draw attention to the ongoing discussion now in Namibia started by Aletris Neils and her conservation efforts with the support of the local ranching population. Finally, we want to ensure that any misconceptions is cleared up: there are no villains in this situation, just multiple players in a complicated situation that needs a solution. 

The CDP aims to raise the awareness on these beautiful big cats so the world can participate in the discussion on how to best handle these creatures. The ranchers, many of whom have already been very welcoming and supportive of the research, are already ready to talk.

This is not a simple story. There are no bad guys or good guys. There is only us. If we do not all work together, then it may become too late and the beautiful Caracals in the region may soon be eradicated. 

Help us introduce these cats to the world. Let us bring the voice of the ranchers into the boardrooms of policy makers. Let us all make a difference.

Aletris Neils, our primary source and researcher, is a Doctorate in Philosophy student at the University of Arizona.  She is also the founder and executive director of ConservationCatalyst.

Neils is a former Fullbright Scholar as a graduate student at the University, focusing her research on mammal conservation. In the past few years, Neils has embarked on this journey to raise awareness on the plight of the Caracal Cat, a beautiful wild cat that is now being hunted on sight in Namibia, south Africa. Neils found out about these majestic animals coincidentally while working on other conservation projects in the United States and Africa. Neils has since taken on the challenge to raise the profile of these cats. She has also spent a great deal of time with the ranchers and has since begun a dialogue with them.

Joshua Morgan, the cinematographer and photojournalist on the field, has interned and freelanced for Tucson Weekly and is a graduate of The New York Times Student Journalism Institute. Before he was involved in photojournalism, Morgan was already filming videos on action sports, specifically the roller blading culture.

Meet Josh and see some of his work on The New York Times Student Journalism Institute website. 

John de Dios, a contributing blogger for Tucson Weekly and a mentor for the Asian American Journalists Association and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, will serve as a producer and co-editor for the project. John also served as a faculty mentor for The New York Times Student Journalism Institute. 

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Funding period

- (30 days)