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Latest News - Scottish Wildcat Action report theft and vandalism of conservation equipment to Police
Example above of one of our cage traps which was vandalised
An investigation is currently underway into vandalism and the theft of property belonging to Scottish Wildcat Action in Aberdeenshire’s Clashindarroch Forest, near Huntly.
On Wednesday 27 March 2018 Scottish Wildcat Action contacted Police Scotland after finding evidence that several of its trail cameras had been vandalised or stolen as well as the theft of valuable information. The project also discovered evidence that a cage trap (inactive at the time) used for the live humane trapping (for neutering and health screening) of feral and obviously hybridised cats, had been vandalised.
This was discovered by staff and volunteers during routine visits to wildlife monitoring sites that are part of a winter wildlife survey, undertaken with all appropriate licenses from Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and access permission from Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS). The various incidents took place between 1 March and 27 March in Clashindarroch Forest, near Huntly.
Anyone who may have witnessed anything is asked to contact Police Scotland quoting reference number 2301 of 27 March. Alternatively anyone can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
SWA Priorities Area Manager, Dr Roo Campbell, commented: “We are extremely disappointed by what has happened in Clashindarroch. Our conservation work is crucial to the continued survival of the critically endangered Scottish wildcat. Those responsible have not only damaged our equipment and robbed the project of vital scientific information but they have also curtailed work crucial to the conservation of the Scottish wildcat.
“What is particularly disappointing is the theft of our volunteers’ information. We have nearly 50 local people generously giving their time to help the project and they are devastated that their hard work has been stolen. We would appeal to anyone with information to get in touch with the Police.”
Scottish Wildcat Action has ceased all cage-trapping for the spring, as normal, due to the wildcat breeding season.
The theft of this information jeopardises the largest scientific survey ever undertaken for this species in the UK. The lost and damaged equipment will cost hundreds of pounds to replace, money which could have been better spent on practical work to protect wildcats like the neutering and vaccination of feral and obviously hybridised cats.
Scottish Wildcat Action, a project involving over 20 partner organisations, was set up in 2015 to help save the highly endangered species from extinction. The project is supported by the Scottish Government and Heritage Lottery Fund.
This content was made possible by our Partners & Funders at Heritage Lottery Fund