Scottish Wildcat Action
2015 - 2020
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
- Breeding healthy wildcats for later release to bolster the population through a conservation breeding programme
- Gathering extensive data and sharing our findings to improve understanding of this elusive predator
In spring 2018, Scottish Wildcat Action partners commissioned members of the IUCN SSC Cat Specialist Group to carry out an independent review of the conservation status of the wildcat in Scotland and the conservation work done to date.
The report concluded there is no longer a viable wildcat population living wild in Scotland, with hybridisation with domestic cats the major threat to their survival. This means the extinction of the species is highly likely without wildcat releases.
Recommendations signalled a step change in wildcat conservation in Scotland, with an increased focus on captive breeding for release now being required to safeguard this iconic species from extinction.
Building on the work of the Scottish Wildcat action partnership, the Saving Wildcats (#SWAforLIFE) recovery project includes the development of the UK’s first wildcat reintroduction centre.
Looking to report a potential wildcat sighting?
The Scottish Wildcat Action website is still live - please submit your report