Wednesday, 18 March 2015

CAN YOU HELP THE SCOTTISH WILDCAT?

photo by George Macdonald
The Scottish Wildcat Conservation Action Plan (SWCAP) was launched in 2013 with the aim of reversing the serious decline of the Scottish wildcat. The SWCAP was developed by the Scottish Wildcat Conservation Action Group, a large and diverse group of stakeholders including SGA, BASC and SLE, coordinated by Scottish Natural Heritage. 
As part of the SWCAP, the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) are responsible for developing a captive breeding for release programme and collecting further data on the genetic status of wildcats in Scotland.  
RZSS are currently looking for sites to undertake live trapping of potential wildcats and are keen to hear from Landowners, Land Managers and Gamekeepers, as to sites that may be suitable for trapping. Of particularly interest are areas where feral cat control is currently being undertaken where the use of live traps could be employed to facilitate the removal of potential wildcats. 
Any potential wildcat trapped will be taken to the Highland Wildlife Park, Kincraig and undergo genetic, pelage and veterinary assessment. Cats deemed suitable will be included in the conservation breeding programme and managed as part of a captive population to maintain the maximum level of genetic diversity possible.

For further information and to report areas thought to be suitable for trapping of wildcats please contact SGA Committee man George Macdonald on 07827 301 917 or the RZSS Wildcat Project Officer, Helen Dickinson on 07958749101 or hdickinson@rzss.org.uk