Two local councillors have volunteered as wildcat ‘champions’ for Aberdeenshire Council.
Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford representatives Robbie Withey and Gwyneth Petrie will be supporting the work of Scottish Wildcat Action.
Both councillors have spent a day with the group’s project officer, Emma Rawling, to find out more about efforts to save the under-threat species in the local area.
Strathbogie is one of the priority areas for Scottish Wildcat Action’s work to try and restore a viable population of the native animal throughout Scotland.
Councillor Withey said: “Scottish Wildcat Action are doing incredible work in the area, made possible by an amazing and
dedicated group of volunteers.
“This area is wildcat country and perhaps one day, once existing numbers are stable, we can progress towards growing the number of cats in the area.”
Councillor Petrie added: ““Numbers of these beautiful animals are dropping quickly and there’s a real risk that they could
become extinct without the great work being carried out by Scottish Wildcat Action.”
Ms Rawling said: “We are so grateful to our council wildcat champions for their help in spreading the word in our
local communities about our Scottish Wildcats.
“We hope everyone in the area gets behind the work to protect them and help save this iconic Scottish species.”
Meanwhile, one of the largest wildcats thought to have been recorded was recently captured in footage in Clashindarroch Forest, near Huntly.
The animal - nicknamed the Clashinadarroch Beast - was filmed on camera by field workers with the conservation project Wildcat Haven.
It is said to be 4ft from nose to tail and was filmed in the forest last December.