After its appearance last week on the latest Royal Mail mammal stamps the Scottish Wildcat, commonly known as the Highland Tiger, is again in the news.

The Cairngorms Wildcat Project is aiming to get a better understanding of these secretive wildcats and a number of cameras have been installed in the Cairngorms National Park to help conservationists do so. By making use of motion detectors and infra-red technology they are able to capture pictures of the wildcats, and any other passing mammals, over periods of up to months in length.

Despite only being in the early stages the project has already been successful in capturing pictures of the wildcats, as well as some of golden eagles.

There is concern that the Scottish Wildcat population has fallen to about 400, and there is a real risk that the species could become extinct. One of the biggest problems is that the wildcats are genetically quite close to domestic cats and hence they can inter-breed resulting in the loss of the pure-wildcat. It is thought that this is the last feline predator in the British Isles so no wonder conservationists are keen to protect it.

If you're interested in following how the project is going then take a look at their blog for regular updates. 

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