Published November 23, 2023 at 5:23 pm /©Phyllis
In Austria it is still considered extinct or lost. At least one wildcat in the Hermagor Federal Forest area doesn’t seem to care. I recently fell into the camera trap.
Overall, there is a lot of evidence in Carinthia that the wild cat is recovering its habitat, according to the Federal Forest Report. It was only recently put on display in the Federal Forest area of Hermagor, where it appears to have found a new home.
Perfect atmosphere in Hermagor
In the federal forests around Hermagor, the European wildcat (Felis silvestris), which has great demands on its habitat, finds very good conditions: the forests are managed in a natural way, there is enough dead wood to hide in, and great attention is generally paid. She is thrust into a colorful cat and species-rich mixed forest where rare species – such as the shy wild cat – find a suitable habitat.
Two specimens were caught in the camera trap
But it wasn’t just a wild cat that fell into a trap in the Bundesfoste area near Pressegger See. No, two copies fell into the camera’s trap. In extensive and structurally rich forests there is sufficient space for the living space needed for typical solitary animals. “The photos are the best proof that natural and sustainable forest management, biodiversity promotion and species protection go hand in hand,” she says. Antje Göttler, Director of Operations of the Austrian Federal Forest (ÖBf) in Carinthia Lungau Glad the wild cat is back.
The current status of the wildcats should be cleared
In the project “The Return of Wild Cats in the Forest”, Felice – Association for the Promotion of European Wild Cats in Austria is working to determine the current situation of wild cats in Austria. This includes the distribution and assessment of their current status, which is recorded with the help of wildlife cameras and lure sticks sprayed with valerian in forest areas in the study area. “Wildlife cameras have been installed in the Hermagor Forest area since spring 2023. “There were two pictures of wild cats on the first inspection,” he says happily. Wildcat expert Peter Gerngross, Who along with Leopold Slotta Bachmeier He is in charge of the project and has cooperated closely with federal forests for many years.
Here’s how to report a wild cat sighting
If you want to learn more about the wild cat or even report a sighting, you can do so on the “Wildcat in Austria” and “Nature Conservation Association” websites. Generally, you can also send views directly to Peter Gerngross via email ([email protected]).
Frequently asked questions
How is a cat different from a wild cat?
The wild cat has a thicker tail than the average domestic cat. The tail has some black rings and a rather sharp end.
Are there wild cats in Austria?
In Austria it is actually considered “extinct” or “lost”. But recently, evidence can be presented again and again. Such as the evidence at Hermagor, where two wild cats were depicted.
Where does the wild cat live?
In more or less untouched forest areas. It recently showed itself in the federal forest area of Hermagor. For example, there is a lot of dead wood for hiding places. Rare species find a suitable habitat in the colorful and species-rich mixed forest.
How do I recognize a wild cat?
Particularly noticeable is the bushy tail, which has about two or three dark rings, as reported by the German Wildlife Foundation. In addition to the eel line, a dark line in the middle of the back that extends to the base of the tail, the dark lines between the ears that extend down to the neck are also distinctive.
What is a wild cat?
The European wildcat is a type of cat that lives in the wild. They are very shy and are therefore rarely seen at all, which is why it is difficult to keep records of them. It prefers to live in untouched forest areas.
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