Cairngorms Wildcat Project

The Challenge: How to restore populations of Scottish wildcats to the Scottish Highlands and raise public awareness of this endangered native species.

The Response: Work with others to develop a special project that helps to protect what’s left of our native cat in the wild and also to breed wildcats for later release.

Strathavon and North Strathspey in the Cairngorms National Park have been identified as important strongholds for the Scottish wildcat, providing plenty of the habitat and food. However, the wildcat is on the brink of extinction because of interbreeding with domestic cats, disease, and accidental persecution.

The Cairngorms National Park Authority have committed to taking practical local action to save this iconic species since 2009 with the Highland Tiger project. Most recently, we have taken on a key role in Scottish Wildcat Action. This is a national project that unites the expertise of over 20 organisations with a focus on both reducing threats in identified wildcat priority areas and also creating a viable population of wildcats ready for release through conservation breeding.

The Cairngorms National Park Authority have not only committed to deliver the Scottish Wildcat Conservation Action Plan but we also sit on the Steering Group, helping to drive the project forward and contribute to important decisions because we believe strongly in protecting our native species.

You can find out more about the incredibly beautiful native cat and get involved in the action at


How can I help?

There are lots of way to help us save our wildcats, including reporting sightings of any wild-living cat in Scotland, whether feral, hybrid or wildcat. This will help the project team to concentrate their Trap Neuter (Vaccinate) and Release programme for feral and hybrid cats where it’s most needed and to identify wildcats that may be suitable for breeding.

You can also volunteer to help with fieldwork or make a donation.

Finally, if you’re a cat owner living in the Scottish Highlands, please consider neutering and vaccinating your pet or farm cat to help protect the Scottish wildcat. Find out more.


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