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 Post subject: Garden Visitor
PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:54 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:33 pm
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Location: The Home Of Mountain Biking, And All Great Things.
Seen this cat a few times, never comes into view from the windows for a pic so I am toying with setting up a remote cam. Wife was tidying up after gardening and caught a crappy pic. Once we get a better pic we will know for certain, but it is certainly the right size to be a wildcat mix, a total monster!
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 Post subject: Re: Garden Visitor
PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:29 pm
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Location: Somerset
How high is that scaled from the locale?


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 Post subject: Re: Garden Visitor
PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 11:11 pm 
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I have seen it half a dozen times and it is around a foot at the shoulder and has the full length tail with the correct bands. There are very few pure left, so I would need better pictures really to see how well it matches up. The snout is darker in this crap pic than it actually appears.


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 Post subject: Re: Garden Visitor
PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 11:59 pm 
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Location: Anglesey
Sure I heard somewhere that virtually all 'pure' wild cats have now been contaminated by feral moggies, although I've no idea how well-informed that fact is. It would be a real shame, as there aren't really any other native predators in their league in the UK.


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 Post subject: Re: Garden Visitor
PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:15 am 
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I went to a lecture last week about the Wildcat, They reckon there could be as few as 35 pure individuals left in the wild, although the guy doing the lecture did admit that the cats were so hard to watch that the number could be considerably larger. I think there's some breeding program to release more cats into the wild, hopefully it works.


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 Post subject: Re: Garden Visitor
PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:32 pm 
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Location: The Home Of Mountain Biking, And All Great Things.
I think the estimates of numbers are possibly pessimistic, but there is no reason to be complacent. There is a lot of debate about identification and classification.

We are in one of the strongholds so it is quite possibly a pretty pure example, the white on its chin has previously been seen as a marker of hybrid, but is within the pure characteristics according to which 'experts' you believe.

The markings overall and the tail are pretty good evidence, and I have seen this one a few times now and would guess it is pretty pure.

When I was a kid we saw them almost every week, again we lived in one of the strongholds. Now we might see one 'now and then', so were very happy this one has included us in its territory. To get decent photographs of its coat I will need to set up a remote live camera and use radio control on an slr. Done that before to get decent shots of wildlife, well the slr part, so could be a project for September.

Another problem with the distribution records for wildcats and subsequent extrapolations of their numbers into concerns over their future is that they rarely present themselves in the open so sightings are normally brief glimpses and thus many are recorded around areas of high population as probable or doubtful rather than affirmed.

The sightings from 'trusted' observers tend to be rural, as this is the domain of farmers, game keepers, etc. who are more likely to have repeated exposure to sightings.

Rural Scotland is populated very sparsely, so there is no real way of measuring the overall population accurately.

From the number of sightings I have made I would be very surprised if the numbers were as low as suggested.


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 Post subject: Re: Garden Visitor
PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:02 pm 
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Location: Fircombe.
Looks like Bagpuss...


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 Post subject: Re: Garden Visitor
PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 3:25 pm 
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Indeed she does! Just guessing it is a female. Hopefully she had some kits this year to add to the mirth.


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 Post subject: Re: Garden Visitor
PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 7:50 pm 
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Location: Chained to the mash tun.
Certainly looks like the one they have at Twycross Zoo...

Image

The larger, fuller face is the same. I'm guessing to fit all those big, sharp teeth in :)

It's a shame that the photos don't do these moggies justice....they are indeed Monsters!!


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