We are pleased to announce that project partner NatureScot has approved a licence application that will allow the release of wildcats into the Cairngorms Connect landscape of the Cairngorms National Park later this year.
Bred at the Saving Wildcats conservation breeding for release centre at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland's Highland Wildlife Park, these wildcats will be the first of their kind to be released into the wild in Britain.
This is a huge step towards restoring Scotland’s critically endangered wildcat population.
Saving Wildcats project lead and RZSS Head of Conservation Dr Helen Senn said: “It is fantastic to reach this milestone and press ahead with planning for trial wildcat releases in the Cairngorms over the summer.
“When the time comes, we will be able to move wildcats under license from pre-release enclosures at Highland Wildlife Park to carefully selected areas in the Cairngorms Connect landscape which provide a suitable mix of habitats and potential prey for the species.
“After release, the wildcats will be monitored using GPS collars as they face the many challenges of life in the wild.
“The fight to restore Scotland’s wildcat populations is just beginning and we are grateful to everyone providing expertise and support along the way.”