Friday, January 12, 2007

Wildcat



I have had an unusual visitor over the past weeks. I have twice seen a Scottish Wildcat at the back of my house.

I am quite chuffed by this as the critter is the rarest wild mammal in Britain. Some experts think that there may be as few as 400 remaining in the wild. As with most predators, they were hunted virtually to extinction during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Although resembling a domestic cat, they are much larger, with broad heads and wide bushy tails. Their gait is different as well, their movements similar to that of a small lion.

These days they are not endangered by the actions of man. The main threat to the species lies in hybridisation caused by interbreeding with domestic cats. Some people think that the only hope for their survival is for the neutering of domestic cats in areas where the Wildcat is extant to be made a legal obligation.

We used to have Wolves, Lynx, and Beavers. It would be a great pity if we were to lose one of our last wild predatory mammals. Since the last ice age the Wildcat has evolved perfectly to survive in the often harsh environment of the Scottish Highlands. It would be a shame if lack of interest were to lead to its extinction.

8 comments:

Arabella said...

Oh Garfer, if only I could believe you.

Arabella said...

So I thought you were having us on. Then I looked at the link. Blimey! Beautiful.

SID said...

Speeding.

Dodgy computer deals.

Enticing endangered and exotic animals.

Whatever next?

pissoff said...

That's very cool. All we've got is hungry racoons.

pissoff said...

That should be...."are." Gawd, I hate it when I do stupid things like that.

garfer said...

And skunks.

suburban wonder said...

But enough about April's love life...

Nice pussy, Garfy.

Pig and Taz said...

I wonder what it tastes like?

The wildcat, not Garfy's pussy.

On second thoughts...