Caracal caracal is distributed over much of Africa, Central Asia and southwestern Asia. North African populations are disappearing, but caracals are still abundant in other African regions. Their range limits are the Saharan desert and the equatorial forest belt of Western and Central Africa. In South Africa and Namibia, C. caracal is so numerous that it is exterminated as a nuisance animal. Asiatic populations are less dense than those of Africa and Asiatic populations are of greater concern. The historical range of caracals mirror that of cheetahs, and both coincide with the distribution of several small desert gazelles. There is little to no distribution overlap with their allies, African golden cats. However, their other allies, servals, share a notable portion of their range with caracals. Wildcats, Felis sylvestris, specifically the subspecies Felis silvestris lybica (African wildcats) and Felis silvestris ornata (Asian wildcats), share much of their range with caracals.
Biogeographic Regions: palearctic (Native ); oriental (Native ); ethiopian (Native )