Experts are using the cameras to study the size of wild populations in the Peles, Visegrad Mountains and Buda Hills and the degree of hybridization as part of a wild species conservation program, Budakeszi Game Park told MTI Monday.
In addition to confirming the presence of wild cats, the first steps in the program include collecting samples for genetic testing, they said.
The wild cat (Felis silvestris) is a species found in Europe, Asia and Africa, and the subspecies of the European wild cat (Felis silvestris silvestris) lives its hidden life in the Carpathian Basin and native forests.
As they write, in addition to previously known events, the small predator appeared in the most visited forests around the capital, so the program pays special attention to the detailed study and monitoring of the habitat, breeding conditions and genetic range of the wild cat population in the forest of Belisi Park.
Although a decrease in the animal’s distribution has been observed since the first survey of wild cat population size in Hungary in 1987, some individuals of this species have also appeared in the forests of the Buda hills.
Thanks to the cooperation agreement concluded between Budakeszi Game Park, the Directorate of Danube-Ipoly National Park and Pilisi Parkerdő Zrt. In March 2021, the wild species protection program began. The goal of the partnership is to learn about the proportion of wild and genetically purebred cats living in the Pilis, Buda Hills and Visegrád mountains near the capital, to accurately map their habitat and behaviour, and to preserve the species for the long term.
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