Scotland considers continental wildcats to save native species from extinction

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Releasing ‘pure’ animals could counter interbreeding with domestic cats, experts say

  • Severin Carrell and Libby Brooks
  • The Guardian

Conservationists could release wildcats captured from other European countries in the Scottish Highlands in a final effort to protect Scotland’s population from extinction.

Recent genetic testing by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland of 276 Scottish wildcat samples found those in the wild are so heavily interbredwith domestic cats that they are close to becoming functionally extinct.

Leading ecologists have said the trend could be reversed by capturing pure-bred wildcats on the continent and…

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