Wildcat study in the Grande Cariçaie
The reed beds and riparian forests of the Grande Cariçaie provide excellent habitat for wildcats. In this nature conservation area, wildcats benefit of low human disturbance, a mild climate due to the lake and a broad food range consisting of mice and waterfowl.
Successful mouse hunt in the reeds. The reeds are home to a large number of small rodents which are among the preferred prey of wildcats.
Siesta at a wild boar resting site. Wild boars build several sleeping nests in the reeds but only use them irregularly. If wild boars are not present, wildcats like to take advantage of this situation and nap in the warm and dry nests.
Wildcats use urine marking and calls (meow) during the mating season to find reproductive partners.
Females and males usually go seperate ways. However, during mating season (January to March) they stay together for a short time.
The wildcat female raises her offsprings alone. Young wildcats have a distinctively striped pattern that becomes more and more blurred as they grow up.
On expeditions, the young cats learn from their mother where there is something to hunt and which dangers they should avoid.
While the young cats romp around, climb and explore the surroundings, while the mother cat keeps a close eye on the young and the surroundings.
For the young wildcats there are many new things to discover.
After the excursion mother cat leads the offspring back to a safe hiding place. Wildcats retreat into burrows, under piles of branches, in wood-beige and also into spacious black woodpecker’s excavations.
The wildcat is always ready to escape an enemy or to make prey itself. In contrast to domestic cats, wild cats are not afraid of water and will even venture into the water to get a delicious duck.
Fox, you’ve stolen the duck…
Wild cats are exclusively carnivores. Sometimes, however, it can be observed that they eat grass, which may help with digestion.
The wildcat drinks at the waterhole.
The wooden stick sprayed with valerian tincture is simply irresistible for the wildcat. The cat rubs itself on it and leaves hairs on the roughened wooden stick. The hairs can then be used for genetic tests.