That’s the warning from the conservationists who say the species is at greater risk than initially thought. A team put together by the Scottish Wildcat Association (SWA) have been reviewing more than 2,000 camera sightings, eyewitness reports and road kills. Based on this they have concluded that the numbers of pure bred cats left in the wild have fallen to as little as 35 individuals. Other research had estimated there were 150 breeding pairs left but it seems they are far less than previously thought.
The main threat to the species comes from interbreeding with domestic cats which creates a hybrid species. A number of measures have been proposed to try and save the cats, including the trapping of cats to allow blood samples to be taken to better understand the state of the population and relocating pure wildcats to areas where there is less risks.