Wildcat breeding programme in England begins

Wildcats could be reintroduced to the South West within the next three years, according to the head of a Devon reintroduction project.

Farmer and mammal reintroduction specialist Derek Gow announced this week that he was rearing a captive population of European wild cats, previously held by The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland.

The last wildcat is believed to have been wiped out in England 150 years ago, although it has not been seen in the south of England since the 1500s. According to a feasibility study of the species carried out by the Vincent Wildlife Trust, rural Devon, Cornwall and mid-Wales would provide the best habitats for the future of the wildcat.

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