Saving the wildcats – Scotland’s Highland tiger

For someone who initially had no particular interest in wildcats, I finished this book feeling massively concerned for their welfare and vulnerability. 

Marianne Taylor delves into the fascinating lives of Scottish wildcats in her Highland journey, during which she hopes to catch sight of these elusive animals.

They face alarming endangerment so a need for their protection, particularly from the hybridisation that currently threatens their existence, is emphasised throughout.

The author draws parallels with the average household cat and explains the history of their domesticity so readers are provided with an accessible account of the similarities between the tame cat and its wild relatives.

This comparison inspires a fondness for the wildcat, promoting a concern for this talismanic species’ potential extinction.

Taylor takes us on this journey with her, describing her aims, actions and findings (or lack thereof) at each step. It is through this that we once again get a sense of the rarity of these Scottish treasures.

The author also discusses the conservation plans and actions put in place to reverse the rapid decline of the Scottish wildcat, offering us hope that, against all odds, we might be able to preserve the Highland Tiger after all. According to Taylor, ‘the loss of the tiger from the world would be an unfathomable tragedy. It could happen in our lifetime – the threats are there and very real.’

Taylor’s expertise is further complemented by her naturally agreeable style of storytelling, which informs while also entertaining.

The combination of her engaging and descriptive style makes this book an inspiring and enlightening read.

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