Scottish wildcats may become extinct, only 35 left

September 13th, 2012 - 9:31 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Sep 13 (IANS) Scottish wildcats may be the next species to be wiped out from the earth, as conservationists say the numbers of pure-bred cats may have fallen to about 35 individuals.

According to the Daily Mail, a team from the Scottish Wildcat Association (SWA) reviewed 2,000 records of camera trap sightings, eyewitness reports and road kills.

The analysis suggested there could be just 35 wildcats - also known as the Highland Tiger.

Other research also estimated there could be less than 400 pure-bred cats.

A report funded by the Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) estimated there were 150 breeding pairs left.

Disease and inter-breeding with domestic and feral cats are said to be among the main threats to pure-bred wildcats.

The SWA said licensed trapping of the mammals should be allowed so blood samples could be taken in an effort to better understand the state of the population. It has also suggested relocating pure wildcats to areas where there are fewer risks.

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