The north African serval population has shrunk due to habitat loss in the wake of increasing urbanization and changes in land use. Wetland conservation is the key to serval conservation. Wetlands harbour comparatively high rodent densities compared to other habitat types, and form the core areas of serval home ranges. Of secondary importance is degradation of grasslands through annual burning followed by over-grazing by domestic hoofstock, leading to reduced abundance of small mammals.
Trade in serval pelts has been reported from many countries from 1980 to 1993. They are frequently marketed as "cheetah" or "leopard". While the scale of the harvest and its effect upon populations is difficult to judge, the pelt trade appears to be primarily domestic (especially for ceremonial or medicinal purposes) or tourist-oriented, rather than international commercial exports.
The serval's localized distribution around water sources may increase its vulnerability to hunting. It is possible that servals were never very numerous in North Africa.
The north African serval has been isolated from the sub- Saharan servals for 6000-7000 years. Relict populations may still be found in humid scrub and mixed woodlands of Morocco's Atlas Mountains and northern Tunisia and Algeria.
There have been scattered reports of sightings in northern Algeria, but no confirmed record since 1936.
Leptailurus serval constantinus is considered by the IUCN as "Endangered". CITES lists the species as "Appendix 2".