Skip to main content

Saving Wildcats


ABOUT Saving Wildcats

Saving Wildcats (#SWAforLife) is a European partnership project dedicated to Scottish wildcat conservation and recovery.

They aim to prevent the extinction of wildcats in Scotland by breeding and releasing them into the wild.

Building on the work of Scottish Wildcat Action, the first national conservation plan for wildcats, Saving Wildcats will:

  • Establish Britain’s first large-scale dedicated conservation ‘breeding for release’ centre for wildcats.

In a quiet location at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s Highland Wildlife Park in the Cairngorms National Park, the centre will bring together wildcat experts, a dedicated veterinary unit and a specialised pre-release training programme to help develop the necessary life skills needed for life in the wild.

  • Grow the population of wildcats through release of wildcats into the wild.

Following a pre-release training programme to prepare for life in the wild, 20 wildcats will be released each year, potentially in an area within the Cairngorms National Park. All released wildcats will wear a special (GPS) collar so their movements and behaviour can be recorded.

  • Continue to remove the threats facing wildcats in the Highlands to create other safe areas for wildcat reintroductions.

In the longer term, wildcat releases will extend to other locations in Scotland. The centre could also support other well-planned efforts across the UK.

  • Work with local communities to understand how best people can benefit from the presence of wildcats.

Saving Wildcats is as much about people as it is about wildcats, helping to boost local economies through wildlife tourism as well as supporting longer term employment.


BCA Zoo currently houses one older female called Alvie who is used as an ambassador animal to educate on the plight of Scottish Wildcats. We are in the process of building her a new retirement home which will hopefully house a breeding pair after her time comes to an end.

Our fundraising effort throughout all of our 2023 Family Zoo Days will also be dedicated to Saving Wildcats.

How can you help?

To find out more about Saving Wildcats and donate, then please click here.

Image and text reference: Saving Wildcats