SCOTTISH WILDCAT ‘SAFE HAVEN’ SET UP IN ARDNAMURCHAN

_76277800_wildcat_rspbscotlandA location on the remote Ardnamurchan peninsula in the north west Highlands has been designated as a Scottish wildcat sanctuary.

Domestic cats near the area are being neutered to prevent them breeding with pure wildcats.

Mixing with domestic cats, disease and loss of habitat have led to wildcats becoming an endangered species.

The Ardnamurchan project involves scientist Dr Paul O’Donoghue and Kent-based charity the Aspinall Foundation.

The scientist told BBC Radio Scotland that the animals had the best chance of surviving in the remotest parts of Scotland.

Ardnamurchan includes some of Scotland’s wildest landscapes and few human residents. The main communities of Acharacle and Strontian have populations of about 560 and 350.

Dr O’Donoghue added: “Places like the central Highlands, like the Cairngorms, where there is a high human population and a massive cat population, the pure wildcat is a doomed wildcat.”

In 2012, SWA warned that wildcats would be extinct in the wild within months after estimating that numbers of pure-bred cats had fallen to about 35 individuals.

A team put together by the association reviewed 2,000 records of camera trap sightings, eyewitness reports and also road kills.

SWA said the analysis suggested there could be 35 wildcats – far fewer than previously thought.

Other research has estimated that there could be less than 400 pure-bred cats.

Scottish Natural Heritage has estimated that there were 150 breeding pairs left.

For the full article: BBC News

 

Advertisements

One response to “SCOTTISH WILDCAT ‘SAFE HAVEN’ SET UP IN ARDNAMURCHAN

  1. Pingback: SCOTTISH WILDCAT ‘SAFE HAVEN’ SET UP IN ARDNAMURCHAN | Brittius·

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s