Scottish Wildcat Action (SWA) Specialist Report - Disease Surveillance

Alice Bacon, Katie Beckmann, Neil Anderson, B.S.G. Alves, Rob Ogden, Anna Meredith, Alexandra J. Tomlinson

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Abstract / Description of output

We should consider ‘significant’ diseases of wildcats (Felis silvestris) to be those with the capacity to compromise the sustainability of the wild-living population and its ability to withstand change. Interactions amongst and between domestic cats (Felis catus) and wildcats provide opportunities for infectious disease transmission, and prior to the start of this project there was evidence that wild-living wildcats in Scotland were infected by, and exposed to, a number of infectious agents well-known in domestic cats, which can cause disease and mortality in that species. Infectious disease has negatively impacted some endangered populations of wild felids elsewhere in the world and has the potential to impact the wildcat in Scotland, especially in the face of simultaneous threats such as habitat loss, population fragmentation and food scarcity. Therefore, infectious disease threats to wildcats merit further investigation, as does the extent to which wildcats are exposed to environmental toxins, which is largely unknown.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherScottish Wildcat Action (SWA)
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Sept 2023

Publication series

NameNatureScot - Scotland Nature Agency

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Scottish wildcat Felis silvestris
  • wild-living cat
  • health
  • disease surveillance i
  • nfectious disease
  • pathogen
  • feline immunodeficiency virus
  • anticoagulant rodenticide


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