Wildcats return to Brandenburg after 200 years

Wildcats return to Brandenburg after 200 years

The Brandenburg Environment Ministry has announced that the European wildcat has made a comeback in the federal state after a 200-year hiatus.

European wildcats roaming Brandenburg again

Dexterous, majestic and sneaky, the European wildcat has made a return to the northern German state of Brandenburg after being hunted into extinction in the region around 200 years ago.

The wildcat population is still small though, with an intensive study from the Ministry concluding that around nine cats have made their home in the Hohen Fläming area, with three further cats suggested to be living in the Jüterborg nature reserve.

Sadly, since their return to the state, one European wildcat had already fallen victim to the human-built environment which surrounds its re-found habitat, with a cat being run over on the A11 Autobahn in Höhe Pfingstberg.

Outside of the northern state, European wildcats can also currently be found in the Eifel mountain range which crosses North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate, as well as in the Hunsrück mountains, also in Rhineland-Palatinate. These populations have never merged thanks to a six-lane Autobahn and the Rhine River disrupting many opportunities they would have to breed and spread.

Brandenburg pets may breed with wildcats

European wildcats also breed with house cats, which means anyone with pets in the state could expect a particularly fluffy kitten if their cat is not neutered and spends time roaming the forests and fields.

The average European wildcat is much bigger than a house cat - which is instead descended from the African wildcat - is a brownish-grey colour and has five distinctive stripes on its head.

Thumb image credit: Sebastian Jakob /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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