Domestic cat

Domestic cat

Domestic cats are thought to have been first tamed back around 10,000 somwhere in the middle east. Unfortunately, as this is the cat that makes up the worldwide domestic cat population (almost exclusively) in many regions like Scotland, while reduction in numbers made specific subspecies of wildcat endangered, it has often been hybridisation that has pushed them over the edge.

There is little point in showing a map of the world, as they are found in almost every human population. It is thought that there are at least 200 million across the globe

Domestic cats are thought to have been tamed in Israel, which has unfortunately meant that this species of wild cat is now spread across the globe – many local species of wildcat have become extinct through hybridisation, the British wildcat is just one such example. There are now only pure British wildcats in captivity, and while there are still quite a few living wild in Scotland they have Asiatic wildcat features. This has happened in many places and solutions are not yet forthcoming.

While unfortunate, there is still work being done. In the UK there are plans to clear a peninsular of domestic cats, and re-establish a wildcat population. Only in situations like Scotland is hybridization likely, the most common reaction to a wildcat meeting a domestic cat is for the wildcat to kill the domestic cat. I hope to live to see the wildcat roaming Scotland once more, but we will se what happens.

They are not hard to see if you are in the right place. I have seen them in Africa, take a night drive in almost any nature reserve. Links will be added below.


A Margay from Costa Rica Taken by Supreet Sahoo


This is a relatively small wild cat that is found in central and Southern America, living in primary evergreen and deciduous forests. Until the 1990s they were illegally hunted for the wildlife trade, causing a significant decrease in the wild population. Sine 2008 they have been listed as near concern due to declining population, thought to be caused by habitat loss. It is classed as near threatened -one up from least concerned, but one down from Vulnerable.

Currently found from the Northern points of Mexico (it has not been seen in the USA since 1855 – indeed the only USA record comes from this time,, however fossils show it once ranged through Southern Texas, and may even have roamed as through Georgia Florida and South Carolina – or at least an animal very similar) through central America to Brazil and Paraguay and even reaching as far south as Uruguay and Argentina.It is a skilled climber, and is confident enough in the tree-tops to chase monkeys and birds for food. Its ankles are flexible enough to turn 180 to make it easier coming back down the tree. It is usually solitary, but lives in home ranges (meaning they are not territorial and home ranges will overlap) that cover 11-16 square km (4.2-6.2 square miles)

There are currently 3 recognized subspecies, these are in turn found South of the Amazon, North of the Amazon and in Central America.


Lynx (bobcat)

Bobcats are found across most US states as well as parts of Mexico and Canada, it is likely the most numerous wild cat species in the world


Bobcat: This cat is found throughout most of the USA (every state except Delaware) and much of Mexico as well as 5 southern states of Canada. Their population is thought to number between 2.3 million and 3.5 million.

The Bobcat is the smallest of the Lynx family of species, but with 2.2 -3.5 million members spread across northern America, it is the most secure wild cat species.

Wildcats could potentially reintroduced into England for the first time in hundreds of years

Wildcats have been restricted to parts of Scotland for hundreds of years, despite once being found throughout the UK. Indeed, it is a problem where a significant number of people now refer to it as the Scottish wildcat, something that is only temporary, and should not be the case for ever.

Although looking sweet, British wild cats are impressive hunters, and can on occasion take deer

Continue reading “Wildcats could potentially reintroduced into England for the first time in hundreds of years”

Species watch

Species watch

All species are important, often reintroductions have failed because a small unnoticed animal was missed. Over time, we will amass pages for as many species as possible. However, just as important is  seeing how species are closely related. As such as well as looking at species from a specific ecosystem or family, we will also include family trees of many of the families on earth. It should be noted, that this is to help you find wildlife you wish to see, so will never link to every species. In either way, these links to these will be placed at the top.

Original paper - OrthoMaM: A database of orthologous genomic markers for placental mammal phylogenetics. Ranwez V., Delsuc F., Ranwez S., Belkhir K., Tilak M. & Douzery E. J. P. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 2007, 7 : 241.

Wildcats have returned to the Netherlands on their own after centuries of absence

Many of the environmental issues that the UK faces continue to be worse because we are an island off the coast of Europe. Unlike France, we have to make the conscience choice to reintroduce wolves, where as in France they have returned naturally.

Recent rewilding efforts in Germany and Belgium, saturated the local wildcat population leading to them spreading to Holland next door.

Wildcats disappeared from Holland in the middle ages. With flatter heads and longer legs than its domestic cousin, the wildcats reappearance is hugely encouraging for environmentalists.

The wildcat started to return in 2013. Pine marten have also returned since 2015.

Long may this move continue

Wildcats set to return to southern England 150 years since their extinction in England and Wales

Once common across the whole of the UK, they were hunted to extinction. Currently, just a handful remain in Scotland. While interbreeding between wildcats and feral domestic cats is normally rare, in the current situation feral cats outnumber wildcats 1000 to one, and as such the wildcat is essentially extinct.

Could wildcats roam an English county once again – as early as next year?

The farmer who is looking to reintroduce them, currently has 6 pairs, which he is hoping to increase to 150 individuals and to start reintroducing perhaps as early as next year.

Continue reading “Wildcats set to return to southern England 150 years since their extinction in England and Wales”
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