Cairngorms Wildcats Project Cairngorms National Park Authority

Why choose the Cairngorms for wildcat conservation?

The landscapes in and around the Cairngorms have been identified as an important stronghold for the Scottish wildcat, providing plenty of the habitat and food it needs. In 2003 this area was designated as the Cairngorms National Park, the largest national park in the UK and one of the largest in Europe. The aims of the Park include balancing conservation of the area’s outstanding wildlife with looking after the 16,000 people who live there, many of whom have a close relationship with the land.

Why is the wildcat such a high priority?

The wildcat is undoubtedly one of the most iconic and evocative mammals of both the Cairngorms National Park and Scotland, and yet is on the brink of extinction. Following a conference held in Aviemore in April 2008, which heard from a wide range of experts, it was concluded that the main threats to the future survival of the species in the National Park and elsewhere in Scotland were:

The conference tapped into the views of a great variety of people, all of whom agreed we have to act NOW to save the wildcat. 

For more information on the outcome of last year's conference and to find out what the key people had to say click here

So what’s being done?

Following on from the conference, a partnership of organisations including the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) , Forestry Commission Scotland, Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, Scottish Gamekeepers Association and Scottish Natural Heritage, bolstered by a wider circle of supporting organisations, came together to design a conservation project for wildcats in the Cairngorms. The Project aims to tackle the threats facing wildcats by:

This project will work with a range of partners and interest groups to safeguard surviving wildcat populations and create favourable conditions for the species to thrive in the Cairngorms National Park, and beyond, in the future.

Who’s in charge?

Dr David Hetherington has been appointed Cairngorms Wildcat Project Manager, a post funded through the Species Action Framework and guided by a steering group comprising the project partners below.

On 5th May 2009, Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham MSP officially launched the Project at the Highland Wildlife Park near Kincraig.

Project progress

In this section you will find each annual report as it is released.

Annual Report 2009 - 2010

Annual Report 2010 - 2011

Final Report


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