Wild cat

Wild cat

Date of disappearance: It has never become extinct throughout Britain, but it was once widespread across the whole island. The poet John Clare, born in 1793, watched them as a child in Northamptonshire. It is now confined to a few small areas in Scotland.

Reason: Persecution

Special powers: Though the wild cat is the ancestor of the domestic cat, and not much bigger, it is fast and strong enough to kill young deer and hares.

Status: Endangered. Though this species is very elusive and hard to count, the best estimates suggest that just a few hundred remain. It is threatened by gamekeepers, especially on grouse moors, and by hybridisation with domestic cats. 

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