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21 Jun 2018

Working with wildcats

A wildcat caught on camera at night
We’re actively monitoring for wildcats at properties across the north of Scotland.
At number 8 on our 100 Ways list, we’re helping to protect the wildcat, as part of Scottish Wildcat Action.

To show the scale of the work we’re doing, we’ve identified 100 Ways we’re protecting Scotland’s heritage, including our support for Scottish Wildcat Action – a coalition of bodies working together to protect this at-risk Scottish species.

We’re pleased to be part of Scottish Wildcat Action (SWA), a project that will help protect the UK’s most endangered carnivore. The group has just launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the risks these felines face.

#GenerationWildcat calls on the public, including outdoor enthusiasts, farmers and gamekeepers, to join the fight to bring the ‘Highland Tiger’ back from the edge of extinction.

Dr Roo Campbell, SWA Project Manager, said: ‘The time to save the Scottish wildcat is now. We are almost certainly the last generation who has a realistic chance of saving this iconic species from extinction in Scotland. Wildcats here face three key threats: hybridisation with feral domestic cats, disease and accidental killing.

‘Through our #GenerationWildcat campaign we want to reach out to the people who can help tackle these threats by taking action, including reporting sightings of wildcats and un-neutered feral cats.

‘We will only regret tomorrow what we don’t do today, so I would encourage as many people as possible to join in this campaign. It is vital that we all work together and become part of the fight to save our Highland Tiger.’ 

A sustained marketing campaign, including local events, will be delivered throughout the project’s five Wildcat Priority Areas (Northern Strathspey, Angus Glens, Strathpeffer, Morvern and Strathbogie). The campaign is aimed at a number of different audiences but has one common goal: to save the Scottish wildcat from extinction.

The farming community is urged to become part of #GenerationWildcat by reporting un-neutered farm or feral cats to SWA, which may be able to provide assistance with neutering in Wildcat Priority Areas. Farmers are also asked to ensure their cats are healthy to prevent diseases being spread to Scottish wildcats.

Outdoor enthusiasts are also encouraged to report any wildcat sightings at www.swa.org.uk. Wildcats can look superficially similar to a tabby-marked domestic or feral cat. Information on how to identify a wildcat can be found on the site.

Stuart Brooks, the Trust’s Head of Natural Heritage Policy, said:

‘We’ve had some great sightings of possible wildcats at a few of our properties, and we’re determined to do our bit to help ensure the wildcat lives on for future generations. This is just one example of the work we’re doing to protect Scotland’s wildlife, for the love of Scotland.’

The National Trust for Scotland works every day to protect Scotland’s national and natural treasures. From coastlines to castles, art to architecture, wildlife to wilderness, we protect all of this For the Love of Scotland.

In Our Strategy for Protecting Scotland’s Heritage 2018–23, we set out how we’re planning to work towards our vision that Scotland’s heritage is valued by everyone and protected now, and for future generations.

100 ways

in which we’re loving and protecting Scotland, for you.

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