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Scottish Wildcat – At Threat Of Extinction

Female Scottish Wildcat

Scottish Wildcat – At Threat Of Extinction

It’s very hard for researchers to know the exact number of these amazing cats left wild in Scotland, as they have hybridised with feral domestic-cat populations over the years. It is estimated that there are now perhaps only thirty five true wildcats left and they are at imminent threat of extinction. It breaks my heart! This beautiful female and her three kittens live at the British Wildlife Centre, near Godstone, in Surrey. Such a great place! I visited last week with my friend Nikki and godchildren, Rosie and James. Rosie loves all cats and the wildcats hold a special place in her heart too. It was wonderful to explore our native wildlife with them, whilst giving young James another photography tutorial! I have a few images of some of the other residents, but the wildcat topped my Twitter poll for what people wanted to see for today’s Wex Mondays challenge. I’m very glad to share a bit of their story with you, but for more information please visit the British Wildlife Centre wildcat page here. The centre does some wonderful work in conservation, rescue & rehabilitation and in education. It’s well worth a visit and I would really encourage everybody to support the amazing work that they do!

15 comments on “Scottish Wildcat – At Threat Of Extinction

    • I know Scott 😞 I love domestic cats, we have two of our own, but the plight of the Scottish wildcats highlights the importance of having domestic cats neutered. Of course prior to this threat they were being hunted by our own stupid species!

    • Wow! How tragic to have found a dead one 😞 The remaining wild ones are pretty much the holy grail for wildlife photographers and filmmakers. It’s a real tragedy! And while we’re now making progress with increasing numbers and reintroduction of some other species it seems impossible to do save these beautiful cats now. I’ve always had my domestic cats neutered as soon as possible. It’s the sheer laziness and thoughtlessness of people that has led to such a huge number of feral cats. As a species we have really let this beautiful creature down. The work that the BWC does in caring for their own wildcats and educating future generations is really wonderful!

      • Yes, it is impossible to save the truly wild strain, here at least. Something similar has happened to the less publicised Rock Dove, which has widely interbred with domestic pigeons, which were kept for meat, to produce the ubiquitous Feral or Town Pigeon – pure Rock Doves are now only found in the extreme west (Ireland) and northwest.

    • Thanks Julie! It’s such a sad story really. All could have been prevented. I know that domestic cats have been the cause of a number of extinctions in New Zealand 😞 I love cats and we have our own two beautiful girls but people really need to be much more responsible for their pets. Neutering is so very important! It’s sad that there are so many feral domestic cats in the UK now.

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