Saving Species - Series 3 - 10. Wildcats and tooth fungi
With possibly just a few hundred in existence, will the Scottish Wildcat soon become extinct? And in the New Forest, Prof Lynne Boddy searches for a rare tooth fungus.
Scottish wildcats are seen as an iconic emblem of the unspoilt wilderness of Scotland. It has been suggested that there may be fewer than one hundred pure bred wildcat in Scotland, with some studies concluding that this species may actually be rarer that the Amur tiger or even extinct as a genetic species. Saving Species reporter Karen Partridge travels to Scotland to meet Kerry Kilshaw from the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, University of Oxford; in the hope of finding one of the last wildcats for herself and in doing so looks at the role genetics is playing in preserving this species.
Professor Lynne Boddy from Cardiff University travels to the New Forest in search of a very rare fungus, the bearded tooth fungus (Hericium erinaceus). This species is commonly grown commercially however in the wild it is one of the rarest fungi's in the UK and it's importance in the woodland ecosystem as a wood-recycling fungus is giving conservationists cause for concern.
Also in the programme - News from around the world with our regular news reporter, Kelvin Boot. And we'll update you on the activities of the Open University's iSpot.