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Monday, 23 January 2012

Scottish Wildcat (Felis sylvestris grampia) at Highland Wildlife Park

Male wildcat
Female wildcat 
Male wildcat
Last week I made a visit to the Highland Wildlife Park at Kincraig near Kingussie
Female wildcat
Wildcat faeces

The Highland Wildlife Park was opened in 1972 and, along with Edinburgh Zoo, is run by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (registered charity SC004064)

As part of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, the Highland Wildlife Park is committed to promoting the conservation of threatened species and habitats; and it was in this context that I had asked Doug Richardson if I could visit their wildcats.

My contact with wild living cats has been limited to date, and I hoped that by spending some time with these cats, in their enclosure, I would get a better feel for their demeanour.

Wildcat faeces
The two cats pictured above are six and five years old respectively and although the male has a domestic cat genetic marker the female is believed to be pure. It was useful to be able to briefly study these cats close up, to photograph their markings and particularly, a couple of faecal samples (droppings) for reference.

My thanks to Doug Richardson (Animal collections manager) and David Barclay (Keeper) for making me welcome and for allowing me access to the wildcat enclosure.

Now for the hard work of finding them in the Glen Affric area.

I've seen one cat which was either pure or hybrid. Now all I've got to do is prove it.
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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.