It is nicknamed the little tiger of the woods because of its spotted dress, but the wild cat does not pose any risk to hikers who might fear to cross paths with it. Only the field mice have to worry… This feline is back in Savoie, spotted last month by the wardens of the Bauges regional natural park for the first time in more than a century.
“He had his portrait taken by photographic traps located at an altitude of 1,500 m, initially used for monitoring wolves and lynx, reveals Richard Cousin, project manager for the natural environment in the park. The presence of this new predator is excellent news. This means that the ecosystem is in good health, because it provides the sylvan cat with the food necessary for its permanent installation on the territory. »
This cat, 50 cm tall and up to 5 kg, had disappeared from the area at the beginning of the 20th century, hunted for its fur and victim of the destruction of its habitat. France has only protected it since 1981. Christophe Gilles, member of France Nature Environnement, studies the return of the wild cat to the region: “The population is expanding since it is recolonizing the alpine forest, surely from Ain where it is was already watching. It should not be confused with domestic cats that return to the wild. This feline is a species in its own right,” he explains. Seven towns in the Bauges are home to these cats for the time being.