New effort to save Scottish wildcats

The BBC tells us about a new project to save iconic wildlife in Scotland. This project is funded by the National Lottery. It certainly wins on cuteness but is it realistic?

The Scottish wildcat (Felis silvestris grampia) is gorgeous and rare. It deserves protection. But unfortunately it can breed with another variety of the same species, the domestic cat (Felis sylvestris catus) and, often, it does. This project will involve neutering feral cats. But one randy tomcat might be enough to mess up the whole conservation project, if indeed the wildcats are pure wildcat now.

As the Beeb article explains, ‘The Scottish Wildcat Association said the action plan would not go far enough to save pure-bred wildcats and said captive breeding should be the priority for funding.’ I hope that whoever designs the cages will give the wildcats plenty of chance to behave as wild animals.

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About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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3 Responses to New effort to save Scottish wildcats

  1. Pingback: Scottish wildcats becoming extinct? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Tony says:

    I personally believe that this will work, Sam. There are countless examples out there, where the science has been put in place to save creatures such as rare seabirds on offshore islands. The Scottish Wildcat is not a bird of course, but it deserves protection. With regard to cages, what other options could realistically be put in place? We need to act, so I hope this is a new wave of radical rethinking in wildlife conservation.

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