Please do not use "post comments" to ask for camera help and advice. Use phone or Skype IM in the first instance.

Updates and posts to this web site are delayed due to ongoing problems I am having with internet access. This is because of the degradation of the existing phone line infrastructure which it is hoped will be upgraded by the spring of 2017.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Scottish Wildcat Association - News Update

This is the latest news from the Scottish Wildcat Association.
If you would like to become a member, volunteer or make a donation, please follow the link at the bottom of this page.

Wildcat Haven

Camera trap photo: Kerry Kilshaw - Oxford University 
After lengthy consultation with Scottish Natural Heritage they have requested we only camera trap cats this year and throughout the year so that we can really pinpoint where they live for life trapping next winter, limiting disturbance. It's not an ideal solution in our eyes however no one has trapped wildcats in decades and SNH are understandably cautious. We've been buying lots of camera traps ourselves and have been joined by some volunteers with traps and Kerry Kilshaw from Oxford University who has been camera trapping heavily in the Cairngorms getting some great shots like the one on the right. All together, we will have nearly 100 cameras spread over a 200 square mile area for an entire year which should give us some great insight into the wildlife distribution around Ardnamurchan. Big thanks to Wildlife and Countryside Services for the substantial bulk discount on a bunch of the cameras and memory cards we bought. So far we definitely recommend Bushnell's for use in the wet Scottish climate!

Feral trapping has continued though numbers have been much slower this year as traps have been getting laid for solitary living individuals rather than the large colony we worked with last year, solitary cats are much harder to track down and even less trusting of humans so take some effort! We have now arranged with an experienced vet to be in the field with us throughout future seasons at a temporary neutering clinic so these wild living animals spend as little time as possible trapped in a cage which is very stressful to them.
For our members, the latest edition of The Wangie is almost ready to go out, as ever running a little late, and completes the Wildcat Haven overview; we'll be publishing this in the near future for everyone to access through our website.

Some other great news for the project is the receipt of a further $10,000 of funding from the Bosack Kruger Foundation who visited us at the start of the season to see the project and landscape for themselves (thanks to IFAW for helping with the money transfers!); the grant is a big step towards the budget we need for next year so a huge thanks to them for continuing to keep a very expensive and very important project on the road.

In similar news a so far anonymous US business donor has sent us $15,000 to put where it's most needed within the charity, the trustees are currently weighing up a couple of options for needs the charity has to see which will bring the greatest help to wildcats.

Volunteers

I’m still looking for volunteers in all areas who would be interested in distributing leaflets to their local pet shops, vets etc,. and will shortly be putting together a small fundraising team to work on some projects we have in mind. Please email me if you’d like to get involved.

Mike Tomkies books

Our wonderful charity patron Mike Tomkies has been having a bit of a clear out and found numerous boxes of immaculate books he didn't realise he had, so please find attached a list of the books available and an extract from "Wildcat Haven" if you haven't read it. Mike's writing style is brutally honest, intriguing, entertaining and often inspirational, if you love the outdoors, wildcats, golden eagles or just Scotland check something out they're a great read, and a percentage of all sales will be donated back to the Association


Gina Yates

Secretary

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This web site is about the wildlife, particularly the mammals, of the Glen Affric National Nature Reserve area in the north west Highlands of Scotland, UK; and the equipment I use to search for them, which is chiefly trail cameras.

I provide a technical support and parts service for the Ltl Acorn range of cameras and the income from this provides for the upkeep of this site and the purchase of cameras for my own surveying.

I hope you find the site useful and informative; and please contact me if you have any questions that I haven't already covered.