The wildcat is Scotland’s rarest and most threatened mammal. Once widespread, the species is now on the brink of extinction. A sad history of habitat loss, persecution and crossbreeding with domestic cats has forced the Highland Tiger to a point where the population is no longer viable. Without urgent action, wildcats will be lost forever from Britain.
Wildcats in zoos, wildlife parks and private facilities now hold the key to saving their species, enabling captive-bred cats to be restored to the wild. Led by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, Saving Wildcats is a new six-year partnership project, which will deliver the urgent action needed to prevent their extinction.
RZSS can only undertake a project of this scale by working in partnership with other experts, and with the invaluable support from the local community.
Nationally, they’re working with NatureScot, the Cairngorms National Park Authority and Forestry and Land Scotland. European expertise is being provided by Norden’s Ark in Sweden and the Iberian Lynx project in Spain and Portugal. The project is funded with the contribution of the LIFE Programme of the European Union and has had additional financial support from the Garfield Weston Foundation, the People’s Trust for Endangered Species, National Trust for Scotland and The European Nature Trust, along with a number of other supporting organisations and generous individuals.
There are also opportunities with some of our projects to get involved in helping us go through project data where you could be the first to spot an elusive lynx on of our cameras! Head to our project pages to discover more.
Remotely studying wolf, lynx and forest cat in eastern France…
On the look-out for one of Britains most elusive mammals…