Field officers Lara and Alex attended the 6th annual EuroWildcat conference

In November, the 6th annual Eurowildcat conference was held in the Bavarian National Park, Germany. Saving Wildcats conservation project officers, Lara Semple and Alex Scurrah-Price, attended with over 40 other experts passionate about wildcat conservation, including researchers, animal keepers and students. Lara shares her experience of the inspiring three-day gathering.

“The conference boasted a fascinating line up of presentations by various specialists from across the continent. We were really excited to hear them all. Alex and I were also scheduled to contribute to the event. Alex provided an update on how the released wildcats were faring in the Cairngorms National Park post-release, along with the team’s ongoing research, whilst I spoke about how the Saving Wildcats trap-neuter-vaccinate-return (TNVR) programme is mitigating the risk of hybridisation with feral domestic cats within the project area. This prompted interesting discussion between representatives from different European countries, and it was enlightening to hear the varying opinions and experiences.

Many other important topics were covered, such as road mortality, suitable habitat modelling, predicting wildcat density using camera trap data, wildcat reproductive biology, rehabilitation of orphaned wildcats, and disease surveillance. The information provided across the three days was invaluable. Alex and I were really keen to share what we had learned with the rest of the team on our return to Scotland.

The EuroWildcat conference was a great opportunity for us to network with international researchers, engage with the wider scientific community, and understand the challenges wildcats face in mainland Europe. I’m really grateful to have been able to share some of the work we’re doing here in Scotland, knowing that our experiences can help further the collective knowledge of wildcat conservation across Europe.

It is vital to the success of Saving Wildcats that we continue to collaborate with both national and international experts throughout the course of the project. As they say, two heads are better than one, and three are better than two…”

Find out more about EuroWildcat >

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