European Wildcat

The wildcat is still existing. But as it spends most of its days fast asleep and goes hunting at nighttime, it ist rarely spotted. The wildcats used to live in the wide forests of middle Europe, where the breed developed and fanned out. But throughout the last decades, the number of wildcats started to decrease. Apparently they could not adapt to the modern, man-made environment, so they found their last refuge in quiet and desolate places in the mountains.

BUND Thuringia, financed by the Thuringian Ministry for Agriculture and Environment, started a project to analyse the decreasing number of wild cats.

Huge woodlands free of any disturbance and noise, small clearings, grasslands within forest and outskirts of the woods with many different types oh hedges make up important elements of a wildcat`s habitat. But due to the intensive agricultural and forestral use these habitats have lost their former quality. On the other hand, many potentially suitable areas stay unsettled. Reasons can be found in the building of more and more streets or the deforestration even of only small parts. The BUND found out that even these small parts of less then one hundred metres width restrained the cats from expanding their habitats.

Fact is, that without creating a network connecting the last biotops, the wildcats do not have a chance of survival. Their population is too small and too isolated to assure their survival in the long run.


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