Highlands & Islands

Work starts on six Scottish wildcat conservation areas

Scottish wildcat kitten Image copyright PA
Image caption Scottish wildcats have suffered severe declines in numbers

Work has begun on establishing priority areas for Scottish wildcat conservation.

The project involves a number of organisations including Scottish Natural Heritage and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland.

The Angus Glens, Strathbogie in Aberdeenshire, Strathavon in Moray and Morvern, Strathpeffer and Dulnain in the Highlands are the six areas

Four staff have been appointed to cover the six locations.

Project manager Roo Campbell said GPS tracking of tagged wildcats and hybrids - cats which are a mix of wild and feral animals - was key to understanding the cats' movements.

The conservation effort is separate to a project called the Wildcat Haven, a 500 square-mile area that covers parts of the Ardnamurchan and Morvern peninsulas.

Habitat loss and breeding with domestic and feral cats are factors behind a severe decline in Scottish wildcats.

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