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Let the cat keep chasing the mouse
Date:7/29/2008

This release is available in German.

Leipzig. For the first time an international researcher team has developed a model, which identifies potential habitats and corridors for the European wildcat (Felis silvestris silvestris). Using Rheinland-Pfalz as an example, it was demonstrated that almost half of this German federal state could be suitable for wildcats, enabling a maximum population of 1600 females. The model can also be adapted for other regions and could therefore prove to be of significant value in protecting this highly endangered species, researchers write in the scientific journal Biological Conservation. The research forms the scientific basis for a network of forest corridors that BUND, the League for the Environment and Nature Conservation Germany (the German Branch of Friends of the Earth), intends to establish over the following years with the help of the German States. According to estimates there are currently between 3000 and 5000 wildcats scattered throughout Germany. The nationwide corridors are an attempt to reconnect isolated populations once again and therefore open up new areas for the wildcat in the East of Germany. In Switzerland too, data on populations of wildcats is being collected and modelled, in order to be able to protect this species better in the future.

Comeback of a native

They have been strolling through the forests of Europe since ancient times on their soft velvety paws and certainly long before mankind started to fragment the forest with his axe or before the Romans brought their domestic cats with them from North Africa. Indeed, the wildcat looks very similar to our domesticated cat, but is however only very distantly related to it. Their tails can most easily differentiate the two species: the stockier wildcat has got bushier hair there and more clearly defined dark ri
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Contact: Tilo Arnhold
presse@ufz.de
49-341-235-1635
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Source:Eurekalert  

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