Nature Champions: Scottish wildcat

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The UK’s only native cat and our rarest predator, the Scottish Wildcat (Felis silvestris) is one of our most iconic and elusive wild mammal species. Once widespread, the species is now on the brink of extinction. A sad history of habitat loss, persecution and interbreeding with domestic cats has forced the Highland Tiger to a point where the population is no longer viable. Without urgent action, wildcats will be lost forever from Britain.

Action Needed

  • Support and promote the work of Saving Wildcats to restore the wildcat to the Cairngorms National Park.
  • Work to encourage and promote responsible pet cat ownership, especially in and around wildcat priority areas.
  • Submit all potential wildcat sightings to iRecord, as this nationwide database will help to assess additional potential release sites in the future. For sightings local to the Cairngorms National Park, sightings can be reported directly to wildcats@rzss.org.uk 
  • Support the work of the 20+ other partners who are trying to save the Scottish Wildcat through the national Scottish Wildcat Conservation Action Plan.
  • Ensure the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy is fully implemented.

Threats

  • Hybridisation with, and disease transmission from, feral cats in our countryside. 
  • Careless predator control, including accidental shooting.
  • Lack of responsible pet cat ownership.
  • Road fatalities.

MSP Nature Champion

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