Friday, 27 April 2012
The SCA attended a conference on wildcats earlier this week in the Cairngorm National Park. This was the end conference on a study on true wildcats. The study period was managed by Dr David Hetherington, Cairngorms Wildcat Project Manager, and was centred on the Cairngorm National park Area, mainly using five estates within the park. It was established that there is a very wild element of cats within some of the area and various attempts at quantifying hybridisation are being looked at to assess the “true wildcat” the highland tiger.
We have asked that this be rolled out across the country as we have had reports of wildcats and populations of them being apparent in various areas of Scotland, some of which is not, as you would think, remote enough for a wildcat.
Again, any of our members who think they have a wildcat population in their area could they please contact the wildcat project at The Highland Tiger - email firstname.lastname@example.org, where they can see the wildcat research that has and is being done and see how to identify a possible wild cat as opposed to a feral moggy.
We would also ask our gamekeeper members to "think wildcat" when out spotlighting or trapping or snaring and ask that anything looking at all like a wildcat is not culled. Remember that wildcats have been protected by law for about the last 30 years so if in doubt miss it out!
There are organisations out there who will come and catch feral cats and remove or neuter them to prevent population growth and also prevent inbreeding and spread of disease which cats are prone to do. Wildcats are an iconic species and we should do what we can to promote and save the purest strain of wildcat. We would be grateful if anyone who thinks they have wildcats would also email George Macdonald on email@example.com