Scotland's cat; less than 100 remain...
Far back in the history of Scotland clans formed together under the image of the wildcat and fought wars for the independence of the land. Today the evidence suggests less than 100 Scottish wildcats remain in the wild and the extinction of Britain's last large mammal predator could come within the next year.
Welcome to the home of the Scottish Wildcat Association, a charitable organisation dedicated to protecting and conserving Britain's only remaining wild feline; the Scottish wildcat.
No angry tabby or feral the wildcat is a genuine wild species of cat; it was here long before we were and long before the domestic cat had even evolved. Infamously the only wild animal to be completely untameable, even when captive reared, Scottish wildcats may look a little like your pet cat but these are incredibly tough super-predators, sometimes called the Tiger of the Highlands.
Sadly, our wildcat is critically endangered with less than 100 individuals appearing to remain in the wild and barely a handful in the captive breeding population. We carry out a wide range of campaigns and projects designed to rebuild and conserve the wildcat population across the Scottish Highlands through active fieldwork, support of scientific research, fundraising for the captive breeding programme and general public education and awareness.
On this website you can learn more about Scottish wildcats, our conservation projects and lots of ways you can get involved, from posting a banner on you website to helping raise money or volunteering your time.
7/10/2012; Latest news...
Scottish Wildcat Conservation Action Group launches
Amidst growing concerns for the future of the wildcat, not least our own alarming analysis suggesting only 35 could survive, Scottish Natural Heritage's move to form a national action planning group proceeded with a first meeting and the beginnings of progress.
We've found much to criticise in the past in the government interest in wildcats, but at last it feels very much like they are taking an interest and keen to push forward something really meaningful. Besides ourselves the group includes a diverse cross section of conservation, land management and animal welfare groups determining to find common ground in pushing forward urgent actions to save the wildcats.
Over the next six months several task groups, headed up by various members of the core action group, will formulate a comprehensive national action plan whilst also carrying out urgent research to fill in several key gaps in our knowledge, including efforts to survey numerous parts of the Highlands that remain largely unknown in terms of the wildcat populations. We will be announcing full details of the SWA's responsibilities within the group very soon.
A stand out point for us in the meeting was the approval of our wildcat trapping licence so that the Wildcat Haven project can, finally, proceed with trials of wildcat trapping and genetic blood testing alongside feral cat neutering. If successful, the methodology used on the project is likely to form a key element of future conservation efforts.
The project management team are meeting in October to plan out the field trials in detail; fieldwork necessarily takes place over winter so we certainly have our work cut out bringing people and funding together to ensure we can complete the work!
We're always looking for volunteers who live anywhere that who would be interested in distributing leaflets to their local pet shops, vets etc. Those with fieldwork experience are very welcome to submit their details for Wildcat Haven project work although current limitations on our licencing and insurances mean there are unlikely to be many people going into the field this year. We hope to be able to be far more inclusive next winter and are very much keen to hear from anyone with ML qualifications, winter hillwalking or field conservation experience.
If you would like to organise a fund raising or sponsored event please do get in touch and we'll see how we can help you make it a success!
The new website is almost completed! We're just finalising all the copy and then it will be live bringing everything up to date, with a great deal currently going on in the wildcat community the update has been held up to accomodate all the latest information such as the above research and the forthcoming national action plan from SNH.
T-shirts and other merchandise
T-shirts and plush toys are still on their way, in the meantime take a look at the Conserving Wild Cats Zazzle store; put together by captive breeding expert Neville Buck the store features a vast range of items displaying his wonderful photography of all sorts of wild cat species, and includes a specific Scottish wildcats range including everything from wildcat prints to wildcat ties. All takings from the store go towards conservation efforts for the various species involved.
Check out the latest images in our Flickr pool!
Buy wildcat stuff, save Scottish wildcats!
All the items in our shop have pledged donations to the Scottish Wildcat Association for every sale; you can find Mike Tomkies books, David Mayer's beautiful wildcat bronze, first day stamp covers, art prints, Association merchandise or the Coffee Films DVD available with lots of new products being added in the near future, you can see a trailer for the DVD below!