Monitoring the distribution, density and introgression of the European wildcat in Switzerland
A new study has shown that monitoring wild cat (Felis silvestris) populations using a systematic genetic survey has positive implications for the conservation and management of elusive hybridising species in human-dominated landscapes. The estimated extent of mixing and gene flow from domestic cats into the European wildcat gene pool in Switzerland increased between 2010 and 2020, highlighting the need for continuous monitoring of population dynamics using molecular tools. The study also found that the wildcat population in Switzerland has doubled in the last decade and is currently estimated at around 1100 individuals, with expansion driven by the increasing presence of humans and domestic cats.
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