Latest News - NEWS: Students give wildcats a helping hand

NEWS: Students give wildcats a helping hand

Originally published by Forestry Commission Scotland.

Sixteen students from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) have joined the national fight to protect and save Scotland’s wildcats.

The students will this week (Thurs 1st December) join staff from Scottish Wildcat Action (SWA) – the partnership of more than 20 Scottish environment agencies – to establish artificial dens at sites on Scotland’s national forest estate in Glenisla.

The students will help to build six dens at key sites in the priority areas and will also help to set up cameras at each den site to monitor progress.

The work parties will be led by partnership staff from Forestry Commission Scotland and SNH. Hebe Carus, Scottish Wildcat Action Officer in the Strathspey & Angus Glens priority areas is organising the den building activity.

Hebe said;

“SWA is a national effort to save Scotland’s wildcats and to have SRUC come on-board is fantastic.

“If wildcats are going to have a fighting chance it really is going to require a concerted effort from everyone because we need to look at solutions that work at a landscape scale. That will require teamwork.

“We’ll explain why den building is important but we’re also going to explain to the students how important forest management and habitat management and habitat connectivity are to the programme.”

SWA’s aim is to lay the groundwork that will support long-term action to restore viable populations of Scottish wildcats north of the Highland boundary fault line. Its five-year programme includes reducing threats in the wild, conservation breeding, and carrying out extensive monitoring and research.

The dens that the SRUC students’ will build will determine whether wildcats are prepared to use them as safe places. If they do, then artificial dens could be more widely used to encourage wildcats into new areas and to raise young.

Victoria Pendry, a student from SRUC said;

“The Scottish wildcat is an endangered species and it is vital that we all pull together to save this incredible animal.

“It holds a particular niche within our landscape and our culture and it is important that everything possible is done to conserve and sustain this integral element in Scotland’s biodiversity.”

For more information on Scottish Wildcat Action and the partners involved please visit  

Notes to Editors

Media contact: Paul Munro, Forestry Commission Scotland, 0300 067 6507.

Or Fergus MacNeill, Scottish Natural Heritage, 01463 725021.

For more information about the project, visit or on Facebook and Twitter @SaveOurWildcats.

Scottish Wildcat Action is the first national project to save the highly endangered Scottish wildcat from extinction. It is a partnership involving over 20 organisations, including, Scottish Natural Heritage, Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), Cairngorms National Park Authority, Forestry Commission Scotland, National Museums Scotland, National Trust for Scotland, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh, Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association and the Scottish Wildlife Trust. It is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund and Scottish Government, as well as its partners.


Forestry Commission Scotland

This content was made possible by our Partners & Funders at Forestry Commission Scotland


Image for Vicky Burns

Vicky is the Communications Coordinator for Scottish Wildcat Action. She has a background in third sector communications and marketing and is based at the Scottish Wildlife Trust office in Edinburgh.

email or call 07799 342380

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