/ December 6, 2020/ Uncategorized

We strive to bring our most threatened species in the UK and around the world back from the brink of extinction. Wildcats and domestic cats can hybridise and this is now the greatest threat to the gene pool of the Scottish wildcat. The last remaining populations in the Scottish Highlands are now critically endangered and at serious risk of extinction. Threatened by hybridisation with feral domestic cats, recent estimates have suggested that only 35 pure Scottish wildcats exist in the wild, with no pure Scottish wildcats in captivity. 100% of the profits go directly to help wildlife both in the UK an overseas. It has a wide, flat head, ears that point more sideways, a bushy blunt-ended tail encircled with dark rings, and a distinctive striped coat. The breeding season is in winter, generally from January to March and after a gestation period of around 64 days, wildcats give birth to a litter of one to four kittens. If you would like to make a contribution to the Aigas Wildcat Conservation Breeding Programme by adopting we have a variety of adoption packs for adults. Once we’ve done that, we’ll be able to tell how many true wildcats are left in the wild and whether they can be used to bolster the natural population through a captive breeding programme led by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland. People’s Trust for Endangered Species was set up in 1977 to save our wildlife. Spots, broken stripes or white fur are all indications of hybridisation (cross-mating) with domestic cats. We protect wildlife in Britain and around the world by bringing our most threatened species back from the brink of extinction. There is nothing natural about the alarming rate at which we are losing animals and their homes. Our successes come from ground-breaking research, practical conservation and education, all with the help of our supporters. There are some measures in place to protect the species but their numbers are still decreasing. One the of the main threats to the survival of the Scottish wildcat is hybridisation. The wildcat has been genetically swamped by domestic moggies – so much so that there are hardly any pure animals left. ‘The Aigas Wildcat Conservation Breeding Programme’ was set up in 2011 and we are now breeding these animals in collaboration with a large network of organisations, who share the ultimate goal of releasing wildcats back into large tracts of healthy Highland habitat. Conservation breeding has been a vital tool in preventing wildcats in Scotland from going completely extinct, we must continue to breed wildcats in captivity to help rebuild a strong wild population. Hybridization doesn’t sound as dramatic as a species disappearing due to overhunting or habitat loss (although suitable habitat for the Scottish wildcat is disappearing), but the end result as far as the species or subspecies is concerned is the same—extinction. Tags Animals Conservation experts at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland have demonstrated the extent of hybridisation within the wild population of Scottish wildcats in a new study. The fur of the Scottish wildcat is a great deal thicker than that of a domestic cat. It is even possible that there are no wildcats in Scotland that don’t have some domestic cat ancestry and so the numbers remaining might depend on how you define a wildcat. Of all the wildcats, the Scottish wildcat is the largest, with males growing between 6-9kg (13-17lb) and females between 5-7kg (11-15lb), which is about 50% bigger than your average housecat. For information on what work has been taking place in the field around the Scottish Highlands please follow this link to, For information on the next six years of wildcat conservation in Scotland please follow this link to information about the, If you have seen what you think is a wildcat you can report the sighting to SWA, Please follow this link if you wish to donate. By adopting an Aigas wildcat you will be contributing towards food, enclosure maintenance and building, husbandry costs and veterinary fees. It has the appearance of a large and muscular tabby cat with a broad, flat head and a distinct fur pattern, including the distinctive dark rings around the thick, blunt tail. Conservationists are planning to release captive European wildcats into the Highlands in a final attempt to save the Scottish wildcat from extinction. Thank you. From our inception in 1976 we have been spreading awareness of the threats facing these creatures whilst championing their protection in the wild. Threats. Another method of donating is through our Crowdfunding page, where we aim to raise funds specifically for building a new wildcat enclosure in the winter of 2020 and to build tunnels connecting our current enclosures. Copyright © Aigas Field Centre. We are working to preserve ancient woodlands, orchards and wood pastures and parklands, as well as the countless species they support. YouTube, People's Trust for Endangered Species, 3 Cloisters House, 8 Battersea Park Road, London SW8 4BG, Registered Charity Number: 274206 • Site Design: Mike Leach Creative at Waters • Branding: Be Colourful. Wildcats were once found throughout the UK. The study showed Scottish wildcats are part of the same gene pool as domestic cats A major study has concluded that Scottish wildcats are now part of … In March 2019 I was awarded a Churchill Fellowship (see WCMT) to travel across continental Europe to visit wildcat experts and investigate hybridisation in European wildcats. We can stop the loss of our wildlife – but we need your support. Habitat loss and persecution drove the wildcat from much of Britain and into its last refuge in the Scottish Highlands. Adoption pack  Hybridization is not the Scottish wildcat's only problem today. Instagram We'd love to tell you about our conservation work through our regular newsletter Wildlife World, and also how you can save endangered species through volunteering, taking action or donating. There are so few wildcats left that it is difficult for them to find other wildcats to breed with. There may only be as few as 400 true, genetically distinct wildcats left in Scotland. The iconic Scottish wildcat, the UK's only native feline, has been present since the last ice age. A signed book by Sir John Lister-Kaye of your choice. A signed book by Sir John Lister-Kaye of your choice, £10 per month or £120 Annually We do this through ground-breaking research, practical conservation and education, all with the help of our supporters. They’ve evolved to combat heavy deforestation in Scotland but are now confined to the Scottish Highlands where they compete for food. Adoption pack This population is estimated to comprise between 1,000 and 4,000 individuals, of which about 400 cats are thought to meet the morphological and genetic criteria of a wildcat. The information that you provide will be held by People’s Trust for Endangered Species. Wildcat Haven maintains that neutering and vaccination is the only way to save the Scottish wildcat—and that captive breeding and release is not feasible or sound, as it … Scottish wildcats can breed with domestic cats to produce fertile hybrids, some of which are pure black in colour. Built on a strong partnership keen to make a difference, Scottish Wildcat Action was the first national conservation plan with a vision to restore viable populations of wildcats north of the Highland fault line by: Working with local people in wildcat priority areas to reduce the risks of hybridisation, disease and accidental persecution We are governed by a board of volunteer trustees and our team of staff are passionate about protecting endangered species and places. The Scottish wildcat (Felis silvestris grampia) may look similar to a domestic cat, but it is a totally different animal, enabling it to survive in the bleak Scottish wilderness. Hybridisation was recognised by SWA as the main threat and its mitigation was the most important activity of the SWCAP. We need a much a better understanding of the extent and impact of interbreeding to stand a chance of saving them. For information on how PTES processes personal data, please see our privacy policy. The Scottish Wildcat Association is a charity founded in 2008 by filmmaker Steve Piper with the aims of conserving the Scottish wildcat, which is critically endangered in the UK. The Aigas Wildcat Conservation Breeding Programme is funded by the Aigas Trust a registered charity and relies on donations to operate. There are so few wildcats left that it is difficult for them to find other wildcats to breed with. Conservationists are planning to release captive European wildcats into the Highlands in a final attempt to save the Scottish wildcat from extinction. Conservation experts at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland have demonstrated the extent of hybridisation within the wild population of Scottish wildcats in a new study. How pure are our remaining Scottish wildcats? This will be achieved by monitoring wildcat populations to inform conservation approaches, promoting land management actions that are beneficial to wildcats (e.g. Another method of donating is through our Crowdfunding page, where we aim to raise funds specifically for building a new wildcat enclosure in the winter of 2020 and to build tunnels connecting our current enclosures. Thank you. By visiting our site you are allowing the use of cookies. If you would like to see the catalogue before please email and ask. , a wildcat postcard, a subscription to our donors e-newsletter (4 newsletters a year: Spring, Summer, Autumn & Winter), biographies of all the wildcats currently in the Aigas breeding programme. The lack of clear cut identification has resulted in … Wildcats generally live solitary lives except for during the mating season and when kittens are young. The wildcat has been genetically swamped by domestic moggies – so much so that there are hardly any pure animals left. "Scottish Wildcat Action – a multi-partner project was launched in 2015 to address the threats to wildcats, particularly from hybridisation and land management. With a good understanding of hybridisation in the past we hope to manage it better into the future, supporting the work of Scottish Wildcat Action and the Saving Wildcats Project re-introducing wildcats back to the wild in Scotland. We have identified hybridisation as the primary threat to the Scottish wildcat. We use cookies to analyse how visitors use our website and to help us provide the best possible experience for users. Scottish Wildcat Action is the official wildcat conservation project delivering a national action plan to save the Scottish wildcat. Hybridization is not the Scottish wildcat's only problem today. If you would like to adopt a wildcat at Aigas follow this link or contact the Aigas office at info@aigas.co.uk. We gather this through surveys, which you can take part in, and by awarding research grants to the most inspiring scientists worldwide. Twitter The numbers of true Scottish wildcats are extremely low, with some estimates of only 35, or less, left in the wild. Hybridisation also makes identification and protection of true wildcats difficult. Three important things about Scottish wildcats: They are… Fancy taking part in a survey, joining us on a wildlife event or becoming a regular supporter? Some habitats contain such a richness of life that we need to protect them at all odds. There may only be as few as 400 true, genetically distinct wildcats left in Scotland. Or if your sighting has taken place locally to Aigas or the surrounding straths and glens, please also report this to Aigas Field Centre. Research suggests that feral domestic cats outnumber wildcats by a ratio of at least 500:1, and perhaps by as much as 2500:1* across the Highlands. The isolated Scottish wildcat (a subpopulation of the European wildcat (Felis silvestris)) was once wide- ... enable the saving of the wildcat in Scotland. image caption A Scottish wildcat kitten was born at Chester Zoo ... and probably hybridisation with a species that originated in much warmer … The solution lies in unraveling the entire genetic code of wildcats, feral and domestic cats to understand the detailed differences and chart the history and extent of the interbreeding. A photographic wildcat print by Laurie Campbell – there are multiple prints to choose from. Everything we do is based on scientific evidence.

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