Mammals

large-spotted-genetLarge-spotted Genet (Genetta tigrina)
Although the genet resembles a cat, it is more closely related to a mongoose. It is an attractive small mammal with large spots. The Large-spotted Genet favours well watered areas. The similar Small- spotted Genet occurs in drier areas. Genets do occur on the estate but are strictly nocturnal and not often seen. They prey on rats, mice, spiders, frogs and crabs.       cape-grysbokCape Grysbok (Raphicerus melanotis) This little antelope has been seen on the estate and spoor is sometimes seen in the dunes. It is nocturnal, although sometimes seen late in the afternoon. It differs from the Steenbok, being dark reddish brown with white speckles. Also favours dense habitat. Grysbok eat grass, leaves and fruit and can go without water for long periods. Endemic to the area.     porcupinePorcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis)
Porcupines have been recorded on estate quite often and have been seen in some gardens. Scats are also sometimes seen and evidence of digging for bulbs. Porcupines are nocturnal and shy. They do not shoot their quills as some people believe- when cornered they turn their backs on the attacker. They eat the bulbs of Arum Lilies and other roots and tubers, but also fruit and carrion. Unfortunately some are killed on roads when crossing at night.       cape-grey-mongooseCape Grey Mongoose (Galerella pulverulenta)
These delightful little animals are common on the estate. They are very at home in fynbos and in wetland areas where they prey on insects, mice and birds. They also eat fruit and carrion. They are not afraid of humans and sometimes walk on footpaths. They are diurnal and often seen in our indigenous gardens. They breed between August and December. Also known as Small Grey Mongoose.           water-mongooseWater Mongoose (Atilax paludinosus)
Also known as Marsh Mongoose. This larger mongoose is not as common or confiding as the Cape Grey Mongoose. I have had a report of this species on the estate, so worth looking out for. The habitat is certainly favourable. They are excellent swimmers and are always found near rivers, marshes and dams. The coat is long and shaggy. They eat frogs, crabs, rats and insects.       cape-golden-moleCape Golden Mole (Chrysochloris asiatica)
These are the little moles that make the shallow tracks around our gardens and in the wetlands. They are delightful to have around and are not destructive- in fact they are an asset to the gardener- they aerate the soil and eat insects and worms. They favour sandy soils in fynbos. Some are unfortunately killed by cats and dogs.       cape-dune-moleratCape dune Mole-rat (Bathyergus suillus)
Mole-rats are not moles or rats and are more closely related to porcupines. All mole-rats have small eyes and external ears, short legs and large protruding incisor teeth which they use for excavating their burrows. They are seldom seen above ground and the very large mole hills are a sign of their presence. They eat green vegetation, roots and bulbs. Adults are solitary. They drum with their feet- possibly for reproductive or territorial signalling.     striped-mouseStriped Mouse (Rhabdomys pumilio) Striped Mice are common on the estate and are a pleasure to have around. They seldom venture into homes and are happy to live outside in their preferred habitat, eating small flowers, weeds and seed. They enjoy sharing the seed with the birds under seed feeders. They are key pollinators of certain protea shrubs. They are also strictly diurnal and seldom move about after dark. We have created a safe haven for this species by creating indigenous gardens where they can thrive, unless hunted by domestic cats. They are easy to recognise- they have four distinct stripes on the back.           vlei-ratVlei Rat (Otomys irroratus)
This is a very cute fluffy rat with large ears and a short tail- it actually resembles a large mouse. Occurs in vleis and swamps and favours wet habitats. It eats the stems and leaves of grasses and reeds/restios. These rats are shy and do not come into homes- they are indigenous and do not eat human food. They are welcome garden residents but they are easily caught by domestic pets. They are probably more numerous in the wetland areas where they are not disturbed.       brandts-climbing-mouseBrandt’s Climbing Mouse (Dendromus mesomelas)
This is an unusual mouse and not likely to be seen. I have one record of a climbing mouse found in my garden (picture attached). In fact, it was never established whether this mouse was the above or Chestnut Climbing Mouse, not recorded on the Peninsula. Both species are chestnut brown in colour with a definite black band running down the back. They are unusual in having no fifth toe on the front foot and the fifth toe on the hind foot has a claw in place of a nail. They have long tails which are used for climbing. They are nocturnal and feed on insects and seeds.   house-mouseHouse Mouse (Mus domesticus) This small grey mouse is an introduced species and generally associated with human activity. Greyish or buffy brown with slightly lighter underparts. They are nocturnal. Not common on the estate.       pygmy-mousePygmy Mouse (Mus minutoides) Very attractive, shy little mouse. The colour varies from brownish buff to reddish with pure white underparts. They are found in fynbos and I have seen them here but they are not common. They are strictly noturnal and shy. Eat seeds and insects and some green vegetation. They are nocturnal, territorial and solitary except when mating. Indigenous.       chacma-baboonChacma Baboon (Papio ursinus)
I am sure that everybody knows what a baboon looks like. I think we had a male on the estate once- he was seen strolling down the main road along the bridge. Unfortunately the baboon monitors keep the troops well away from the estate, so we don’t even get to hear them barking in the hills behind us. Males are a lot bigger than females. They eat fruit, berries, insects, scorpions and occasionally sea food when foraging on the beach. In need of protection and respect. There are only about 350 left on the Peninsula and they are a genetically isolated population.       rock-dassieRock Dassie (Procavia capensis) Rock Dassies, also known as Rock Hyrax, are not likely to be seen on the estate. I have been notified of a record of one seen here in a garden. They are generally scarce on the Peninsula but still occur in Silvermine Nature Reserve and throughout Table Mountain National Park. They have a long gestation period, are sociable animals and they spend long hours lying in the sun, which aids their digestion. They favour rocky habitats.
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