Conservation Science

Wildcats in Scotland

We provide clinical and scientific veterinary support to the Scottish Wildcat Conservation Action Group.

The Scottish Wildcat Conservation Action Group is a partnership of organisations, including the RDSVS, attempting to secure a future for the wildcat (Felis silvestris) in Scotland. The dramatic population decline of the wildcat throughout the 20th century, and subsequent extensive hybridisation with feral cats, has left this, our only remaining native felid, on the brink of extinction. Over the last four years, our work has included both in-situ and ex-situ research and conservation efforts. As part of this project, staff at R(D)SVS have played advisory and practical roles, including: planning and conducting feral cat trap-neuter-vaccinate-release programmes; trapping and anaesthetising wildcats for sampling and telemetry collaring; engaging with vets, cat owners and land managers about wildcat conservation and responsible cat ownership; and conducting disease surveillance in free-living (feral) domestic cat, domestic / wildcat hybrid, and wildcat populations.

For further information, please contact Alice Bacon or Katie Beckmann.