Scottish wildcat appears again

The Scottish Wildcat on Hill of Balbithan made another appearance today for the camera.

There is no mistaking this cat for an ordinary domestic moggie, with a larger, broader, much more muscular body, with a much broader face and big jaws. The coat is thick and tiger striped, while the tail is distinctively bushy and blunt with black and white stripes.

Scottish wildcat Felis Sylvestris
© Ken McEwen All rights reserved.

Scottish wildcats are seriously endangered with estimates that there are no more than 400 – and possibly no more than 100 – pure bred Scottish Wildcats remaining in the wild. Some even say that the species has only months from extinction. It is Britain’s most endangered mammal.

One of the greatest threats to the Scottish wildcat population is hybridisation with domestic wildcats. Experts reckon this cat is one of these hybrids, although the looks show that it is clearly quite close to a pure bred Scottish wildcat.

Scottish wildcat Feilis Sylvestris
© Ken McEwen All rights reserved.
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