Wildlife Trusts considering reintroducing wildcats to England

Wildcats may be released in England for the first time in hundreds of years wildlife The trusts recruit an expert to help them get back into the wild.

Having been hunted to extinction, the European wildcat is now the UK’s rarest native mammal. They are larger than the domestic cat, having descended from the wild cats of Africa. it has not been seen in the southern England since the 16th century, but it is now possible to find the animal stalking the landscape once again.

After Vincent Wildlife Trust found the wild forests of Devon and Cornwall to be the most suitable place to release forgetful poachers, local wildlife trusts have started taking serious steps to see if they can reintroduce them .

is charity Hiring a Wildcat OfficerThose who will be tasked with finding out whether it is possible to release the mammoths.

Once widespread throughout Britain, the cats are now found only in remote areas of Scotland. this small population no longer considered viable From International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with 30 wild animals showing high levels of hybridization with domestic cats.

Peter Burgess of the Devon Wildlife Trust is partly responsible for the successful Otter test on the Otter River, which once boasted a rich wild population of locally extinct rodents. He is now looking into how wildcats can be reintroduced by the Wildlife Trust in Devon.

“Preliminary feasibility studies have shown that there is really strong potential for them in the south-west of England,” he told the Guardian. “Now, we’re taking it to the next level, looking at their impact on the ecosystem, and seeing whether there’s support in the local community.”

Burgess hopes it will be possible to reintroduce them. “They were really widespread throughout the UK and are now one of our rarest mammals on the verge of extinction.”

Wildcats would bring ecological benefits in the form of “an important predator that has been removed from the landscape”, according to Burgess.

The cats would be released from a “stud book” of genetically strong wildcats, which could one day produce kittens to spare. It is produced by both zoos and private breeders.

One of the reservations people have about the wildcat release is that there are now so many domestic cats on the landscape that there are concerns about hybridization. “They avoid domestic cats, but we will spend 18 months looking for feral cat populations,” Burgess said.

Those interested in rewilding news will be following the long saga of beaver releases. The process of releasing the beavers back into the wild has been slow, but if there are no community or habitat concerns, it is hoped that the project can move forward more quickly, as feral cats are a native species, Whose release has certain rules around it.

Burgess said: “We will follow Defra’s code for the reintroduction of the species – for example assessing impacts on protected sites. We will have to assess habitat regulations, but even without the need for specific licences, we will be able to use government support Will demand.”

Some farmers are concerned that feral cats may harass their livestock or eat their sheep, but experts say this is unlikely because feral cats like to hide and rarely take anything larger than a small rodent. .

derek goA farmer turned rewilder based in Devon is helping with the project and hopes it means wildcats could return to the landscape by 2025.

“I think we could have free-living cats in England again by 2025. Once we have the feasibility information we will look at how we produce cats that we can help move out into wilder environments. It’s a relatively straightforward process. To be clear, everything will be done responsibly, within IUCN guidelines,” Gow said.

He said the project was incredibly important. “We want to do it responsibly, but we don’t want to talk and utter rubbish for 50 years. This is a small animal that is in great danger and if we don’t act now it could be in our lifetime.” will disappear from this island. We need to bring it back to the habitats it used to occupy. It’s not just about doing something new, it’s about saving one of our most iconic animals from extinction We culled it because we wanted its thick thick fur and didn’t want it to eat our prized rabbits.

Read full story at the guardian.com

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