Scottish wildcat news update


This video is about wildcats in Scotland.

From Wildlife Extra:

Scottish wildcat benefits from six new protection sites

Six sites in Scotland have been identified by Scottish Natural Heritage as key areas for Scottish wildcats following research into the endangered cat species.

The sites; Angus Glens, northern Strathspey, Morvern, Strathavon, Strathbogie (around Huntly) and Strathpeffer, have been designated as potential wildcat strongholds woth preserving after evidence of cats showing strong wildcat features were found.

“The survey findings support that there are wild-living cats displaying many of the typical wildcat features in these areas,” said Dr Rob Ogden, Royal Zoological Society of Scotland‘s Head of Science. “Although some of the best examples caught on camera were not tested for their DNA, some of the cats tested had a high proportion of wildcat genetic markers. Hence a pragmatic view is that our wildcats remain distinctive and are worthy of protection.

The main threat to the Scottish wildcat is hybridising with domestic cats and therefore the next stage is to reduce the risk of further hybridisation in these six important areas by:

• Co-ordinating an ambitious trap, neuter and release (TNR) programme to neuter all feral and hybrids.

• Encouraging cat owners to neuter and vaccinate cats; micro-chipping will also help to make pet cats easily identifiable.

SNH and its partners in The Scottish Wildcat Conservation Action Plan will also be working with gamekeepers, farmers and foresters to reduce the risks to wildcats from predator control; and monitoring populations to see the benefits of this work.

Jenny Bryce, SNH’s wildlife ecologist, said: “These priority areas give us real opportunity to halt the decline of the Scottish wildcat and preserve its distinctive identity.

The Action Plan partners take a pragmatic view – there are good examples of wildcats out there, displaying many of the characteristics of this species. And this is very much the focus of the new Wildcat Action project.

“We have been encouraged by the number and the quality of wildcats that have been observed, given the relatively short duration of the surveys. We think this is indicative of populations persisting more widely.

“But the threats are ever-present and we need to act now to preserve animals that are distinctive as Scottish wildcats. And with the help of people in these communities we aim to do just that.”

This news follows the creation of a Scottish wildcat sanctuary on the west coast of Scotland in July 2014.

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3 thoughts on “Scottish wildcat news update

  1. Pingback: Wildcats born in the Netherlands, after centuries of extinction | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Scottish wildcats in danger | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Save Scottish wildcats, new website | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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