Could DNA test to define Scotland’s pure-bred wildcats save the species?

22nd May 2013 | Posted by Babette de Jonge

A biologist from University of Chester has developed a genetic test which addresses the fundamental issue in the conservation of the Scottish wildcat – how can we identify pure wildcats from hybrids?

Dr O’Donoghue’s team at Chester has spent two years working on the research with data analysts at FIOS Genomics in Edinburgh to complete the cutting edge test which is the first of its kind in the world.

Until now there has been no truly definitive way of identifying whether existing individual cats are pure wildcats or hybrids and estimates currently suggest there are, at best, only 100 pure Scottish wildcats remaining in the wild – this test could prove to be a vital tool in the fight to save the species.

The work was funded with support from the Aspinall Foundation, the People’s Trust for Endangered Species, the Bosack Kruger Foundation and the Summerlee Foundation.

Some more publicity for the good cause

In today’s local paper “Gooi-en Eemlander” (24/1/13) some more publicity for our Wild Cats World and Spotted Cats Conservation projects in the interview with founder/manager Babette de Jonge. Sorry, in Dutch again, but the basic message is what we are trying to tell here everyday: By raising awareness, education, conservation and by giving the cats the respect they deserve, in their natural habitat and in captivity, we are trying to do our fair share to make the world a better place for the wild cats species.

Oog Voor Zuid Afrika, nr. 2-2013

For the Dutch (and South African) readers: in the second “Oog Voor Zuid Afrika” magazine you can read this 2-paged interview with Babette de Jonge about Wild Cats World, Spotted Cats Conservation and her passion for the wild cats. From February 1st the magazine will be available in Holland in the better magazinestores like Ako, Bruna and Primera, but there’s also an on-line copy available. For that please go to the website www.oogvoorzuid-afrika.com.

New Ambassador Leopard Project II: Félipe

Meet Félipe, the new ambassador for our leopard conservation Project part II in SA. Félipe is born October 1st, 2012 and he will be the future partner of our female ambassador Feline, who is still enjoying the company of her brother Felix, for whom we hope to find a lovely girlfriend soon too. It will of course take at least another year, maybe longer, to introduce Feline and Felix to their new partners. In January 2013 we will already start building the new leopardenclosure at our Spotted Cats Conservation Project in SA where we already have projects for leopards, servals, black footed cats, caracals and lions.

 

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