Skip to comments.Wildcat population to be surveyed (Scotland)
Posted on 02/19/2008 4:31:13 AM PST by decimon
Walkers in the Highlands are being asked to help discover the true numbers of one of Britain's most secretive creatures - the Scottish wildcat.
It became extinct in England and Wales 150 years ago but continues to be sighted in Scottish woods and moorland.
Some estimates suggest just 400 survive - although there could be up to 4,000.
Now Scottish Natural Heritage is asking everyone who uses the countryside to take part in a year-long survey and report sightings of the timid animal.
The conservation body hopes to assess numbers and distribution.
The count is being carried out as part of the Scottish Government's Species Action Framework and is an effort to safeguard the rare mammal.
Minister for Environment Michael Russell is due to launch the survey at the Highland Wildlife Park, near Kincraig, which has captive purebred wildcats.
However, Adrian Davies, who is co-ordinating the research, said it helped if people had seen a wildcat before and knew what they looked like.
He said: "There's obviously a number of occasions where it might actually be quite difficult to determine a wildcat.
"They're often seen at dusk and at dawn or in the dark so it can be quite difficult to determine what a wildcat is in the field."
The animal is the last surviving native member of the cat family to be found in the wild in Britain.
It has been listed in the Species Action Framework for conservation effort over the next five years in an attempt to improve its habitat and reduce threats of cross breeding with feral domestic cats.
The Scottish wildcat has survived by clinging on in habitat margins between mountain and moorland and forest and fields, preying on rabbits, small birds and mammals.
Thick brown coat with distinctive black stripes
Few spotted markings or white patches
Black and brown rings on tail, with black tip
Source: The Scottish Wildcat Association
I’m guessing the survey will show the majority of them supporting McCain.
MacCain, ye heathen.
Those are some beauteous kitties.
Cool video at link!
I mean at the original post link about the wild cats.
They’re very cute.....glad they aren’t trying to wipe them out like they would do here in this country.
Thanks for the YouTube link. Very interesting!
My pleasure. Corbie sent me the link originally.
If you're sure you want to wake to that stare.
Clan Chatton motto.
Clan Chatton motto.
Chatton is Gaelic for wild cat.
If that means the cat will leave your arm shredded then I believe it.
Love them both to pieces though!
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