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Opinions divided over reintroduction of lynx to Scotland

2022-4-30 17:00| 发布者: hujian| 查看: 4| 评论: 0

摘要: Lynx were once native to BritainThe first detailed social feasibility study into a trial reintroduction of lynx to Scotland has found that opinions on the idea are divided.The wild cats were once nati ...


Lynx were once native to Britain

The first detailed social feasibility study into a trial reintroduction of lynx to Scotland has found that opinions on the idea are divided.

The wild cats were once native to Britain but were driven to extinction 500 to 1,000 years ago.

The Lynx to Scotland project commissioned the research in the Cairngorms National Park and Argyll.

The study identified some support for bringing back lynx but found opposition among rural residents and workers.

The perceived benefits included ecotourism and lynx helping to control roe deer numbers in areas where they damage woodland, but there were concerns that lynx could prey on livestock.

According to the researchers, there was very little concern that the cats posed any danger to people.

But they also said there was general agreement the wider public did not know enough about lynx to make informed decisions on whether they should return.

Lynx to Scotland said the study showed a successful reintroduction was dependent on people's attitudes, and it believed a trial could still be possible in the future.

Peter Cairns of Scotland: The Big Picture, one of the charities involved in the project, said: "When it comes to the return of the lynx, we're in the realm of not yet - but not never.

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"Positively, this new research shows there is sufficient appetite amongst different stakeholders to develop a more comprehensive understanding of this little-known species and the potential for its return to Scotland."

LynxIMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES
Image caption,
Workers and communities in the Cairngorms National Park and Argyll were asked about bringing back lynx

Trees for Life, a landscape conservation charity based in Moray, and Herefordshire-based Vincent Wildlife Trust are also involved in the project.

The year-long study sought the views of rural workers and communities, interviewing farmers, foresters, gamekeepers and conservationists.

Roe deer would be expected to be the main prey for lynx, if reintroduced to Scotland. The study suggested some deer managers and foresters felt lynx could be useful in controlling numbers in areas of dense woodland, where it was difficult to conduct culls.

But others were sceptical and said there were not enough deer, or the good quality woodland habitat that lynx favour, in parts of the Highlands deemed to be suitable for a trial.

The researchers said there were concerns about lynx attacking sheep, but that views differed on how much of a problem it would be.

Those in support of a reintroduction said lynx would help to create more balanced, biodiverse woodland ecosystems.

Some supporters also argued the cats would be good for wildlife tourism and a boost for local communities.

But opponents said they felt the ecotourism benefits of lynx were overblown.


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