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Snowing a lot, and it's very cold, so I'm staying in my den today...
100 (pure) - 4000 (hybrid) from recent estimates
Boreoeutheria: e.g. European mole (Talpa europaea)
I should be sequenced because...: The DNA sequence of my genome is what makes me different to feral cats, but it's difficult to tell us apart without it!
I’m the very last native cat species in Britain. I used to live all over the country but, because of habitat loss and hunting, now you can only find me in the Scottish Highlands. There may be only 400 Scottish wildcats left, which makes me critically endangered.
Where I live depends on where I can find prey. I hunt in open areas, but like to move around under the cover of woodland or scrub. I really don’t like the deep snow we get, or getting my feet wet, if I can help it! I make dens in tree roots or rock cairns (piles of stones) to keep warm. This is where we raise our kittens, usually one litter of 3-4 every year.
I have been a symbol of the Scottish wilderness for hundreds of years. Lots of the Scottish clans have me on their crests. Caithness, in Scotland, was once called ‘Caitaibh’, or the ‘land of the cats’.
Here are some of the people trying to help save me from extinction, but lots more needs to be done before it is too late. If you want to help too, vote for me! Find out all about wildcat conservation by clicking the links below: