Should lynx be reintroduced in England and Scotland?

LynxAs reported yesterday by various outlets including the BBC and The Scotsman, Lynx UK Trust has approached landowners, farmers, gamekeepers and conservation groups seeking their thoughts on reintroducing the once-native lynx to Aberdeenshire, Argyll, Northumberland, Cumbria and Norfolk over a five-year period.

One of the hottest topics in conservation at the moment, the issue of reintroducing lynx is undoubtedly controversial. Some argue that there will be conservation and economic benefits whilst others are concerned about the potential impact on farming.

The GWCT is among the organisations who have been asked to respond and we intend to do so.

Our response will of course be based on sound research and evidence but as always we are interested to hear what other people think so please take our short survey below:

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Lynx reintroduction

at 8:01 on 24/02/2018 by david Shaw

Yes let's bring back the Lynx! I agree whole-heartedly with the reintroduction of the Lynx. The problem of course is the knee-jerk reaction of people who have not taken the trouble to do any research on the subject. Lynx are unlikley to take sheep if those sheep are on the hills (one person wrote an irreleveant comment on the depredatations of a large black cat on sheep on open hill land as though lYnx behaved in the same way.) Lynx ambush their prey and tend to keep to woodland, which is why they would have a good impact on roe deer . They would also kill foxes, badgers and martens, reducing the predation by these species of grouse and other ground-nesting birds - and by killing foxes serve locally to reduce losses of sheep. Many people have spoken of dangers to human beings. Lynx are no danger w hatsoever to adults or children, fleeing, sensibly, from man's presence. Some people here have even suggested that Lynx would not be able to distinguish between deer, and sheep or human children! If this is not wilful ignorance it is a deliberate attempt to arouse the fears of those who are easily influenced by such irrational claims. Then there are those who speak against all reintroductions, as though we should compare the carefully studied and meticulously prepared reintroduction of this feline with the whimsical release of grey squirrels in England and Europe or the ill-considered introduction of the rabbit to Australia. The same commentator grossly exaggerated the impact of White tailed eagles on lambs (studies have shown that thousands of lambs die of natural causes on the hills every spring and most lamb remains at nests were from animals that had died of natural causes), and even claimed that beaver dams and lodges interfere with the migration of salmon. This after the Scottish government, having studied the official beaver trial at Knapdale concluded that beaver constituted a positive addition to the ecosystem, and on the scientific evidence presented decided to allow the natural colonisation of Tayside to continue. On this note perhaps many are not aware that Lloyds of london, who know a real risk when they see one, are so convinced that Lynx pose no significant danger to sheep-farming that they have offered to underwrite all losses of sheep throughout the trial period, for the proposed release in Kielder.

Lynx reintroduction ….

at 14:06 on 23/01/2018 by Alec Swan

…. and thinking about it further, and quite how it would work; Presumably the only suitable areas would be forestry areas which are extensive. Turning a couple of pairs loose in Surrey, for instance wouldn't really be the brightest idea, would it? So, let's imagine that as an experiment Kielder Forest was chosen as the first site. Considering that Lynx need vast areas over which to roam, I wonder how many Lynx Kielder would comfortable keep …. the entire area what shall we say — 15-20 cats? Presumably they'd be introduced as a couple of pairs initially? With no other Lynx with which to cross-pollinate, how would the question of in-breeding and the loss of genetic diversity be dealt with? For those supporting this lunacy which is without mitigation, how would they propose that the numbers be managed and controlled when the numbers rise exponentially, as they surely will? I honestly wonder if those who've dreamed up this quaint but stupid idea have actually thought through the realities!

Killer Lynx

at 8:26 on 16/11/2017 by lee Johnston

Pictured: nine sheep killed by Lynx which was shot dead - despite owners insisting it was 'no more dangerous than a fox' These sheep are larger than children, so the children are safe ? Get real. https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/pictured-nine-sheep-killed-by-lynx-which-was-shot-dead-despite-owners-insisting-it-was-no-more-a3689321.html


at 18:04 on 11/11/2017 by claire m

Having seen what just happened in the west of Wales, UK where a young (escaped) Lynx has been shot and killed rather than tranquilized and moved, after a knee-jerk reaction from the local council and others, I would suggest it's not a great idea, even though the Lynx had been blamed for attacking some sheep, whether she did or not, in fact becomes irrelevant, but what is relevant- is the reaction. Do we want to see these lovely creatures being being 'blamed' and then shot by random groups because 'they've decided for the public's and livestock safety sake that it's the right decision'?as much as it's a nice idea overall, today has been a very sad day.

Iberian Lynx

at 21:29 on 17/08/2017 by Wilson Logan

Just introduce Iberian Lynx. No threat to man, nor beast. Unless you're a rabbit in which case you are toast. Scotland is stiff with bunnies. We need a specialist predator to calm the numbers down. These animals are endangered in Iberia due to the lack of rabbits. Get them into Scotland, ASAP.


at 14:26 on 10/08/2017 by Lee Johnston

Be aware that all camping sites which currently host children during the summer breaks, including Boy Scouts / Guides in close proximity areas will need to be closed down before introduction, unless somone is going to take on the task of explaining to the Lynx that the children are in fact not deer or sheep and they must not attack them, especially while they are sleeping at night in the tents or wander away from the main group when in the forest, or has this issue already been addressed? What about an injured hillwalker who has to spend the night in a forest alone, surely a vurnerable person? One more point on health and safety. Will someone be delegated as the responsible officer, who will take full responsibility for child victims, which may include manslaughter charges when the inevitable happens. Who is going to tell the Lynx that they must stay in the designated area of release and not wander beyond a certain area on the map and will a predator be introduced to control the Lynx population?

Lynx re-introduction

at 15:33 on 08/08/2017 by L Gosling

I was curious but doubtful, so attended a local talk by the Trust, which I found interesting and the arguments persuasive. However, living on the edge of Kielder Forest in Northumberland, I still had misgivings given the vast tracts of mainly marginal lands adjacent to the forest, only capable of sustaining sheep and suckler cattle. And when I say sheep, I mean hundreds and hundreds of them, giving a livelihood to many upland farmers, who cannot breed or grow anything else. So, being a keen countrywoman, with terriers and an interest in hunting, I have contacted friends in Sweden, the Czech Republic, Poland and Finland to ask for their views as they are all familiar with the Eurasian lynx. Asked about the lynx's prey, the answers variously, were deer, mouflon, sheep, small animals and cats. My Swedish friend believes that given the high preponderance and proximity of sheep flocks near Kielder - not occuring in such numbers in any of the countries I asked - it would be very likely that sheep would fall victim to lynx in increasing numbers, as they would be easy prey. Breeding pedigree animals myself, no amount of compensation would replace years and years of carefully managed breeding to replace bloodlines lost. So, regrettably, I have decided that Kielder Forest is not an appropriate location for the Eurasian lynx.

Should lynx be reintroduced in England and Scotland?

at 14:51 on 02/08/2017 by Charles Smith-Jones

Once again there are calls for the reintroduction of lynx into the British countryside, partly driven by a desire to reduce the deer population. Whilst the idea certainly appears to be an attractive 'green' solution to rising deer numbers, its advocates conveniently forget one important fact. By the time the lynx became extinct in England, probably in the 9th century, the population of Britain was no more than 4 million; today it is well over 65 million. Lynx (and wolves & bears for that matter)need a great deal of space, and our overcrowded island simply cannot offer it. Forget eco tourism - these animals will not show themselves readily. Furthermore the native roe deer will be negatively affected while the red, fallow and muntjac (which raise the real deer issues in some areas) will not be notable prey items due to lynx hunting style or ability to tackle larger quarry, Sheep and other livestock, on the other hand, will be popular prey items as our neighbours on the continent know all too well.


at 10:30 on 25/07/2017 by Lee Johnston

How do you come to the conclusion that these animals have never attacked a human and unlikely to kill sheep? Do some internet research and you shall find numerous cases in eastern Europe, particularly in the mountains of Romania. A deer is larger than a sheep and in many cases, larger than a human, so are the Lynx affraid of the sheep for some strange reason and that's why they prefer the larger prey, the deer? Was not aware that there was a problem with controlling the deer population, plus it it the most rare and expensive meat that you can buy from butcher's or game shop, as it is very difficult to obtain. If there are too many deer, why not concentrate our efforts in getting this surplus available meat on our plates at a low cost, rather than let the Lynx eat it. Sounds a better idea instead of intoducing Lynx solely to allow people like you to look at them through a set of binoculars. It will be the re-introduction of bears and wolves next and perhaps crocodiles into the lakes?

Lynx reintroduction

at 0:03 on 21/07/2017 by Gareth Carson

Yes the Lynx should be reintroduced, there are no records of attacks on humans, they will help control deer numbers and as such rejuvenate woodlands, I do not believe that they will be a threat to sheep and there is to be a compensation if there are any attacks on sheep. They will be tagged so it will be interesting to note claims of attacks on sheep versus what the satellite tags say. I will be up to Kielder asap as soon as they are released and will go wild camping in the hope of a rare sighting. I would have no problem taking my children and grandchildren for walks in the woods where Lynx have been released.


at 9:02 on 20/07/2017 by Lee Johnston

These animals kill humans when they are hungry enough. It happens in Romania frequently. They strike from above, from the trees, ussually to the back of your neck and kill instantly. So forget about taking your children for a walk in the woods, particularly when it is illegal for you to carry a weapon to defend yourself if attacked. They were hunted to extinction for a reason, same as wolves and bears. Reintroduction is absurd.

Reintroduce lynx!

at 20:54 on 19/07/2017 by Sully

Absolutely reintroduce lynx. A lot of people with next to no knowledge on nature are blindly opposing this without thinking here. This was the Lynx's original habitat, they will adapt drastically and maintain the deer population by preying on fawns. Lynx do not typically put fully grown livestock in danger such as sheep or cows, and pose NO THREAT to humans at all. And IF they decide to prey upon fully grown sheep (unlinkely as it is) then farmers are the one's who should put into place the measures in order to protect their animals. The entitlement to the land we some people possess is sad, this is not just our patch. In my opinions wolves should be reintroduced too.

Just say yes to proposition Lynx

at 14:43 on 21/03/2017 by Daniel

Wild Lynx in the UK are vital to keep our towns and cities under control where foxes are running the show. Lynx will keep fox numbers down and provide valued tourism to city parks.

Further reading and thoughts!

at 12:47 on 24/01/2017 by Alec Swan.

Having read David Kent's well argued and persuasive points and whilst also accepting his land management experience, it has to be accepted that if we're to expand our forestry operations then we also have to accept that we're providing the near perfect environment for deer and to encourage them to increase in numbers. I remain of the view that reintroducing a species of predator to solve the problem of 'pest' expansion is an answer which is too simplistic and could very well have an unacceptable price tag attached to it.

Lynx reintroduction to Scotland

at 13:25 on 01/12/2016 by David Kent

Although I fully understand the sentiments of the sheep-farming community concerning Lynx reintroduction, I remain of the opinion that the benefits outweigh the negatives. Having said that, I am rather doubtful about the proposal to release them into some of the areas suggested, especially areas of England where conflicts with human interests are more likely. In the Scottish Highlands the sparsely-populated regions of Argyll, Wester Ross, Sutherland and Inverness-shire could suitably accommodate a number of Lynx. There is currently a significant move towards restoring woodland cover, the invested efforts of many landowners – including myself – being thwarted by an increasing overpopulation of deer. Few trees not afforded the protection of growth tubes manage to survive, regeneration is often absent and a woodland understorey and herbaceous layer non-existent. So much wildlife is dependent on good habitat. In common with European Beavers and exterminated birds-of-prey (White-tailed Eagle, Red Kite and Goshawk) that have during recent decades been reintroduced, the Lynx is a fitting candidate for similar consideration. The aforementioned species were, however, brought back because it was deemed the ‘proper’ thing to do. They were not returned to the UK wildlife scene because of beneficial functions that would be reinstated, but for moral and aesthetic reasons. By contrast the European Lynx would unquestionably perform a beneficial function. I am, however, wholly against suggestion of either Wolves or Brown Bears being considered for reintroduction as, in my belief, they would not constitute a credible answer to the deer situation … but that’s another lengthy subject. Lynx are solitary and have very large territories, and their natural prey occurs in abundance in Scotland. Lynx reintroduction should not be regarded as a stepping-stone towards bringing in the larger carnivores, and likelihood of a Lynx reintroduction project gaining approval would meet with more support if the notion of bringing back Wolves and Brown Bears were pulled out of the equation.

The Lunacy of re-introduction.

at 13:46 on 18/10/2016 by Alec Swan.

… and lunacy it surely would be. Are those who think that it's such a good idea, ignoring the damage which has been done here and worldwide by the introduction of a species where the existing system can't cope? Shall we consider rabbits in Australia? Shall we, closer to home, consider the mink which were released from fur farms, how about the ecological damage created by coypu, and whilst we're here, what of our burgeoning grey squirrel population and the now expanding population of wild boar which are being shot wholesale to curb the damage that they create? That there were once Lynx in Britain isn't the point, the point is that when they became extinct here, the vacuum closed up, they have no natural enemies, and the vast areas where they remain endemic cope with them well, but with land available being of postage stamp proportions, here in the UK, the effect will almost certainly be catastrophic. 'Let's give them a chance'? Seriously? Do those who'd support that stance have an exit plan when it goes catastrophically wrong? I do so wish that those who dream up these pie-in-the-sky ideas would think their harebrained plans through first. I farm sheep, and though the presence of Lynx would be a serious concern, those worries are nothing compared with the undoubted detrimental effect that such plans would have upon our whole and fragile ecosystem.

Re-introduction of lynx

at 8:50 on 10/08/2016 by Marian Hussenbux

In an ideal world, I would like to see re-introductions of such creatures - but they'd just get shot or trapped, wouldn't they.? So, no, regrettably not.

Lynx re-introduction

at 15:13 on 04/08/2016 by Paul Jackson

Just in response to James Jenner's post below. One of the main problems for professionals involved in conservation/land management is the general lack of understanding around the law, principles and choices entailed in land and species management, whether that be for sporting, farming or conservation goals. Robert Connolly's post is not "odd" at all - The Hunting Act of 2004 banned the hunting of certain specified wild mammals with more than two dogs. Flushing mammals such as foxes and deer with two dogs, as long as the 'hunted' mammal is shot as soon as possible thereafter, is 'exempt hunting' and therefore still legal. Robert Connolly's post is therefore factually correct, as packs of hounds can still legally operate a fox control programme as long as they abide by the exemptions laid out in the Hunting Act.

Lynx reintroduction

at 21:01 on 01/08/2016 by Barry coulter

We should be keeping our natural world as diverse as is practicable. Experiments are just that. Perhaps reintroducing the Lynx will not be a success, however the risk of irreparable harm (other than to some sheep) is negligible. If it is a success i.e. A wild breeding population that largely predates on other wild prey is surely worth the risk. Whatever harm they do it will pale into insignificance compared to the harm domestic dogs achieve and we all love dogs don't we? On the other hand a good point is made that this glamour project should not be allowed to overshadow the pressing need to prevent the extinction of the wildcat. Once gone the wildcat will not come back and we should not forget to care for what we have in the rush for the new.

Lynx Reintroduction

at 16:51 on 19/06/2016 by James Jenner

Theres some pretty odd comments from people on here, the most odd being Robert Connolly's post regarding the pack of hounds kept in his local area for fox control, despite hunting with dogs being illegal in the UK since 2004. I think some people in land management in particular need to wake up to the fact that we dont live in the 19th century any more.

lynx in britain

at 15:16 on 16/05/2016 by steve clark

lynx are needed to keep deer populations under control and they would bring eco tourism to the area. If this is successful wolves and bears could then be intraduced at a later date. As for farmers they aren't the guarduains of the countryside more like destroyers of it with pesticides and badger culling, (always moaning price of milk ,badgers etc)

say yes to the reintroduction

at 10:46 on 24/04/2016 by ioannis holden

I think the lynx should be tried to be reintroduced to its former haunts, due to man being the cause of their demise from these Isles. Humans have increased in population and expanded their urban sprawl, but this should not be reason to prevent a native and lost species having the chance to return. They evolved to be here and still have a role in the natural world, although I still fear for their safety in a world of humans who compete with any other apex predator. I wish see the Lynx returned, as our smaller wildlife have had the chance. Beavers are back, red kites, otters, pine martens and red squirrels. My nearest possible release forest is Thetford, Norfolk and more people would pay to see one (or not, due to their secretive and shy nature) but we must as guardians of this world give the Lynx a chance


at 19:41 on 10/04/2016 by Graham Temby

What a load of rubbish! Lynx live perfectly happily with people and farm livestock in many parts of Europe. It seems the predation of sheep per lynx is around 0.4 sheep per year. That's one every 2 to 3 years. Hardly likely to drive the sheep farmers to bankruptcy. (The exception to this is in Norway, where they run sheep in forests - meals on wheels to an ambush predator.) Our sheep are run in open fields. Not great hunting territory for a lynx. Lynx prefer roe deer, which are eating themselves and our forests out of house and home! This is because the roe deer have no natural predator. Have a look at how ecosystems have improved in America, when apex predators are reintroduced.

Lynx reintroduction

at 14:55 on 10/04/2016 by Fenton

I think that the lynx looks so magnificent and strong that its appearance works against it. It seems to be a bigger, fiercer predator than it actually is. Where the lynx does live in Europe, or has been reintroduced, as in Switzerland, it is largely an secretive, woodland-based predator. Studies in Switzerland, for example, have shown that predation by lynx on sheep in Switzerland is very low. Much lynx predation is on deer, which is actually needed ecologically in many areas, where the deer populations are too high and whole ecosystems are stunted as a result. A lynx in the area is basically non-stop, self-balancing deer control. So, with proper compensation systems for farmers for any livestock killed, and with thoughtful reintroduction where viable populations of lynx can flourish (Scotland of course comes to mind as the first test area), then I am all for the reintroduction. I suspect that when it happens it will be a case of many people fearing it beforehand and of it being an almost complete non-issue afterwards. In fact it will probably be a net benefit afterwards. How many national parks have been established over the bitter objections of most of the inhabitants and neighbours, and now are treasured, economic drivers of their regions? If you own a B&B, a village shop, or you are a young person who would like to have employment in the locality of your birth, then seize the day and set your region on the path to the future. I urge people to put their understandable initial fears aside and welcome the lynx.

Lynx Reintroduction

at 21:49 on 08/04/2016 by Angela Reid

As a breeder of pedigree rare breed sheep I think the idea of reintroducing the lynx is appalling. There are enough problems for sheep farmers from dog attacks, we do not need lynx to add to our difficulties. Our island in any case is far too small and over-populated to reintroduce such a predator - it won't just be sheep that get attacked - it could be people's pets and maybe even small children. There seems to be a ridiculous idea amongst some 'naturalists' that you can introduce a creature at the top of the food chain without any legal means of controlling it. For example we live now with dozens of red kites circling over our heads. If there are not enough carcasses for them to feed off then they turn to live food such as rabbits and even lambs. One had a go at taking our cocker spaniel puppy while it was sitting in a field, presumably thinking it was a black rabbit. I have heard a representative from the Lynx Trust say there is room for 400 lynx in the UK. Well, who is going to count them? How are they going to be controlled? Any predator prowling round my flock of sheep in the dark is liable to be shot - I won't be asking it whether it is a fox, dog or lynx! There also seems to be some idea that it doesn't matter if a few sheep here or there get killed - well with a rare breed and valuable bloodlines it matters a great deal. The whole idea is nonsense - forget it!

Lynx Introduction

at 10:47 on 07/04/2016 by JF Hardingham

Before any knee-jerk reaction opposing the Lynx reintroduction may I put in a plea for people to become informed about this animal's natural traits. http://www.lynxuk.org/lynx.html The Eurasian lynx eats a wide range of prey but tends to focus on roe deer whenever they are available. In their absence other ungulates, including red deer, are typically favoured, and various other small mammals are also often in the diet. Lynx will occasionally hunt gamebirds and, quite rarely, sheep, they are a strict carnivore and will eat 1-2kg of meat per day. The preferred hunting technique is to stalk and pounce on prey utilising the dense cover of their preferred forested habitats. This is not a animal that will stroll into a field of outdoor pigs for a meal. Sheep in Cumbria are most at risk because of the fragmented habitat. Studies suggest the average sheep consumption is 0.4 sheep per lynx per year. With compensation in place is this any reason to oppose this reintroduction with all its benefits of restoring the balance controlling the species which have now become pests because they are increasing out of control in our man-made countryside. Lynx will control deer and disturb foxes and other pest species – albeit in a tiny area of forested Britain.


at 13:36 on 16/02/2016 by ian fader

bri efly due problems with road kill forthink reintroduction of lynx should be limited to Scotland. Give it afew years and see how it goes.


at 14:36 on 22/01/2016 by JC

Before any more predators are introduced in British rural areas EVERY LIVING PERSON in our rural villages should be sent a voting card to give their yes/no seal of approval or dissapproval to any more rewilding in this country and the length and breadth of the British Isles, only by this approach can a true evaluation be considered. And the cost to be absorbed by these promoting groups involved. City dwellers should not be included in this approach. As we have seen in the past with the predators and raptors introduced there is no path for control by the people that suffer most from these unwanted species by most of our SILENT MAJORITIES that live quiety in our rural areas whereby many have to suffer the consequences in silence bounded by governmental regulations and criminalisation laws imposed. The hypocracy of many of the yes voters for these 'wilding' issues is clear to all by their comments regarding the areas where these predators should be released ~ always selecting the remote areas far away from where they live themselves searching for a 'quick and easy' fix for themselves on a weekend trip. Collateral damage spoken about regarding sheep losses ~ but who will pay for this? will it be the organisations that are lobbying for this or will it be somehow diverted to the tax payers as usual. Before any adding to the misery of rural habitants many unspoken and unresolved issues require grave consideration. The cruelty that will be imposed on our farm animals and wildlife is somehow convenienty never brought into the equasion by the yes campaign. Tell the truth ~ envisage in your own mindset what actually happens when a fierce predator is killing an animal or bird ~ the horror and pain that these victims have to endure is totally unacceptable. No true animal or bird lover would accept this. SAY NO TO LYNX ~ WOLVES ~ BEAR AND ANY REWILDING ORGANISATION AS WELL.


at 14:54 on 16/01/2016 by Anonymous

The lynx may not be able to reduce the amount of deer. However if they do kill a few, this will probably change the behavior of the deer and make them leave certain valleys where the lynx can easily catch them and allow that area to flourish with green.


at 11:26 on 13/01/2016 by Maisie Duffy

This is their home. We took their home. They should be allowed to come back to the place where they began. STAND UP AND FIGHT FOR THE LYNX.

The UK needs a indigenous prey species

at 12:36 on 12/01/2016 by Joshua Gilroy

The reintroduction of the Eurasian Lynx into the United Kingdom could be the most successful and prevalent conservation effort ever undergone in this country. Of course there is qualms over predation, but the fact is the UK is inundated by prey species, we have severe overpopulation of deer in Scotland alongside our rodent species in England. The negativity seems to suggest it would be a traumatic time for ecosystem self sustainability, but the real solution is we need to favour secondary succession. The Lynx was a native species centuries ago, the biodiversity changes due to the lack of a predator and there needs to be a feedback mechanism that favours all species. The prodimance of agricultural land is always a flag for concern, but could be easily managed with the implementation of ecological corridors or subsidies to afforest land and maintain a ecosystem more renewable to a modern means of organic farming practice. The implementation of arable crops into an ecosystem or wild reared beef also are means of allowing reintroduction. We need to ask ourselves whether profit or our environment is more important?


at 18:39 on 10/01/2016 by p. stewart

Why would anyone think its a good idea to introduce a top predator into an ecosystem thats already plagued by other predators? We are already overrun by badgers which are wiping out countless ground nesting birds, hedgehogs, bees and livestock. The sea eagle reintroduction was a complete shambles due to them shifting from a fish based diet to a lamb/mutton based diet. Its said that lynx will largely eat deer and only eat a small amount of sheep. This is the most ridiculous assumption I have ever heard, the lynx will go for the prey that gives them the most energy whilst spending the least energy to obtain. Sheep, being contained and slower and meatier than deer would look quite appealing. In my opinion, one sheep lost to a lynx is too one too many. I have been advised by a norweigian farmer to oppose the reintroduction as they are a problem over there.

On estate's behind fencing is not rewilding. Unfenced they will devistate UK wildlife & sheep and be persecuted.

at 13:01 on 09/12/2015 by Derick Evans


Lynx reintroduction

at 18:00 on 23/11/2015 by Robert moffitt

Looking through some if these comments its obvious some people in Britain need an education on the term trophic cascade. There was a comment on how the Lynx would negatively affect the wildlife we have got such as ground nesting birds. Firstly Lynx are not big predators of grouse and such, rather they are known to predate on foxes which do predate on ground nesting birds. Also not only do Lynx rarely prey in sheep due to them prefaring woodland instead of open countryside but their habit of killing foxes could actually be beneficial to sheep farmers as foxes are widely known to take lambs. I personally come from a farming family but i am all for the reintroduction of large predators as i have taken time to do my research on them. There was also a comment stating we should protect what we already have but in all honesty what we have got is nothing more than a huge garden.

Introduction of lynx

at 9:10 on 17/11/2015 by Retired Vet

This should not be called 're-introduction', rather 'introduction' after such a long time. I have seen what the elusive black cat, that was occasionally seen in Galloway a few years ago, could do: eight dead or maimed sheep in one night, scattered across the hill, two of them still alive and disembowelled, trying to run, with total fear in their eyes. Top predator, yes! Many can be pro-animal-welfare, but still want to have this. Imagine what these sheep or an attacked deer feels like? And fox-hunting has been banned because of what fear the fox is presumed to feel! This seems contradictory from all directions. I have likewise often seen uninhibited aggression in animals and cannot imagine how bad it would be for a human who either surprised a lynx at a kill, or inadvertently cornered one, or just came across a very hungry one. Is introduction of a potential killer worth the risk, however small? Ask a Health and Safety officer - definitely NO!

Lynx reintroduction trial

at 10:47 on 08/11/2015 by Keith Cowieson

In principle, the reintroduction of lynx could have a powerful effect in re-invigorating natural ecosystems and flora and fauna-impoverished native woodlands. The 'Ecology of Fear' effect (http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu.rajatorrent.com/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/22136/RippleWilliam.FERM.WolvesEcologyFear.pdf?sequence=1) suggests that the reintroduction of apex predators such as lynx can play an important role in helping ecosystems regenerate by inducing fear in both their prey species and meso-predator populations. Currently, prey species such as native and non-native deer species browse at leisure, destroying both understorey and the low vegetative layer due to their unnaturally abundant numbers. Experience elsewhere (such as with wolf reintroduction in Yellowstone Park and in more natural landscapes such as in Romania) shows that deer behaviour in the presence of apex predators is significantly modified to minimise risk of predation, with consequent nett beneficial effects for natural woodland regeneration and dependent woodland species and specialists. Moreover, foxes, badgers, pine marten, feral and domestic cats and other mammalian meso-predators are all at risk from lynx and are likely to modify their behaviour significantly too, in their presence. Elsewhere, such as in eastern Europe and Scandinavia, game and songbird populations benefit from this release from predation pressure with healthy populations in lynx territories due to this intra-guild predation, that is the suppression and displacement of fox and other meso-predator populations by both direct predation and deterrent effect. Fox and other predator kill rates go down and their stress levels go up with a resultant depressive effect on breeding rates. Finally, unlike Norway, our sheep are not normally grazed in woodland so losses to lynx should be relatively low, which in any case do not live at high density. All in all, I think a small scale reintroduction pilot/trial scheme is a worthwhile idea – we should give it a go and see if the effects pan out as predicted.

lynx reintroduction

at 22:41 on 07/11/2015 by Dan

I think the lynx should be reintroduced, it's true that it has been absent from Britain for 1300 years but that doesn't mean it's return should be dismissed out of hand. I don't see why the prospect of reintroduction of native species always has to have some kind of financial benefit in order to somehow sway people into accepting the idea. I understand farmers concern for their livestock and think these concerns should be properly addressed but am at a loss to understand how a native predator can harm numbers of native wildlife and find these suggestions absurd as these cats are part of the natural ecological balance or at least they were before man removed them and destroyed the natural order of things altogether.

Lynx reintroduction

at 19:12 on 07/11/2015 by Ed Bennett

Switzerland has lynx, is smaller than Scotland & has more people than Scotland. We should stop fearing wildlife in the U.K and bring back some of our missing species. For the most part we'd never see Lynx if we did have them, they have massive territories & are extremely elusive woodland predators. They only hunt in woodland cover so sheep out on the hills wouldn't be affected. Lynx would be go some way changing the behaviour & abundance of deer (roe, sika & possibly young red) and quite probably foxes. I also strongly believe that in wealthy Britain we have a moral obligation to have predators to set an example to places like Africa & Asia where we expect people to tolerate far more dangerous wildlife such as lions, leopards & elephants. I would love to walk in a forest inhabited by wild lynx in Britain.

Lynx reintroduction

at 12:25 on 06/11/2015 by A Webb

I would be very unwilling to reintroduce the Lynx until some sensible middle way can be found for farmers and land managers to deal with particular nuisance predators which already exist. Whether they be cormorants or goosanders on a fishery, an individual buzzard taking young game birds from a pen, badgers raiding nests or undermining railways, beavers blocking salmon migrations or flooding farmland etc. No one wants to see any wildlife decimated but there is currently no reasonable way to deal with a specific problem a farmer may have on a case by case basis. For example if the population of buzzards was monitored and the occasional license issued to remove a specific problematic individual, perhaps a license issued by the local wildlife police officer who could tighten/relax rules based on his discussions with relevant groups, then people would have much more faith that problems with new species could be sensibly overcome. Until that time there will always be friction between land managers and conservation groups. Currently neither side wants to give ground for fear of appearing soft. In the grand scheme of things can it really be right, as they did here, to spend £100,000 moving a badger set which was undermining a railway when the badgers are relatively plentiful and would move away once 'evicted' and work started?

Lynx reintroduction

at 17:45 on 04/11/2015 by David Frost

It's a seductive idea but could be fraught with problems. If there were to be a reintroduction I suggest it should initially be with a non breeding population (males and/or neutered females) that would die out of its own accord if the project was not a success.

Lynx reintroduction

at 17:20 on 04/11/2015 by Robert Connelly

I work in an area which would probably be considered suitable, large forestry blocks, few roads but not far off the beaten track, increasing deer population. Also in this area we have a pack of hounds to control foxes which is partly funded by the agricultural community as the damage caused at lambing time can be catastrophic. A great many people give of their time to make the hounds an effective management tool. Introducing an extra apex predator into delicate ecosystems and fragile economic farming communities is an act of sublime ignorance or worse, the people sanctioning these actions delightfully secure from the consequences.. It occurs to me that should the proponents of these introductions bear the full responsibility for them it may cause them to think again and not treat this green and pleasant land as an ecological laboratory, washing their hands when it all goes wrong

Lynx reintroduction

at 16:34 on 04/11/2015 by David Frost

It's a seductive idea but could be fraught with problems. If there were to be a reintroduction I suggest it should initially be with a non breeding population (males and/or neutered females) that would die out of its own accord if the project was not a success.

Lynx reintroduction

at 11:42 on 04/11/2015 by Simon Rogers

Yes. While it may be true the landscape and ecology has changed considerably since the lynx disappeared, that change has primarily been due to human activity. This includes spread of farming and urbanisation, extinction of other predators and introduction of alien species like the grey squirrel, and arguably the rabbit. Perhaps the lynx would help redress the balance. A lot of agricultural land is neglected or marginal, so perhaps if good agricultural land e.g in Green Belts were better used instead of for leisure activities of questionable economic and ecological value, the impact of a small if vigorous predator would be more than compensated for by better land use.

Lynx reintroduction

at 11:15 on 04/11/2015 by John Johnson

The landscape and human population has changed enormously since the last Lynx inhabited the UK in around 700AD. There are still questions yet to be answered amongst them has the UK enough conjoined areas of suitable habitat to sustain a viable genetically sound population, secondly what would the impact be on the already endangered population of the Scottish Wildcat? A paper has recently been published by the British Deer Society that looks at the current status of Lynx research and release projects in Europe http://www.bds.org.uk/index.php/research/current-research-projects/13-current-projects/159-the-potential-for-reintroduction-of-eurasian-lynx-to-great-britain

Lynx reintroduction

at 10:48 on 04/11/2015 by John Johnson

The landscape and human population has changed enormously since the last Lynx inhabited the UK in around 700AD. There are still questions yet to be answered amongst them has the UK enough conjoined areas of suitable habitat to sustain a viable genetically sound population, secondly what would the impact be on the already endangered population of the Scottish Wildcat? A paper has recently been published by the British Deer Society that looks at the current status of Lynx research and release projects in Europe http://www.bds.org.uk/index.php/research/current-research-projects/13-current-projects/159-the-potential-for-reintroduction-of-eurasian-lynx-to-great-britain


at 10:42 on 04/11/2015 by Peter Ford

Whilst I am generally in favour of the reintroduction I would like to see more done to save our own native wild cat which is teetering on extinction.

Reintroducing the Lynx!

at 7:02 on 04/11/2015 by Edward Berry

This is a really bad idea in my opinion! The British countryside has changed so much since the time Lynx were present, and any remote area's just aren't remote enough! Farmers play a huge part in conservation in the British countryside, and the Lynx will most certainly bring extra problems for them, why put this extra burden on farmers who already have to deal with Fox and mink predation on their livestock! WE NEED FARMERS ON OUR SIDE!

Lynx Reintroduction

at 23:36 on 03/11/2015 by Dave Stewart

Our country needs predators to redress the natural balance

Lynx reintroduction

at 21:08 on 03/11/2015 by Robert ford

Nature needs predators, 100% they should be reintroduced, they would bring more balance. Maybe badgers wouldn't be as numerous if Lynx were around which I'm sure farmers would like

Lynx re-introduction.

at 16:35 on 03/11/2015 by Alistair Montgomery

The re-introduction of any former predator species is a notion borne out of romanticism and not realism. Unless you restore the geography and population in the UK to that of when these animals were endemic it will not work. It would certainly bring a reality check to any tree hugging "townies" who live in the country. The law of unintended consequences would come into play, and all livestock as well as all domesticated animals or pets would be on the menu being easier prey than our "street-wise" deer. As they say ".. a nice idea but....."


at 13:17 on 03/11/2015 by Tony

If it were up to me, i'd reintroduce the Wolf and the Bear also.

Lynx reintroduction

at 11:27 on 03/11/2015 by Frank Stevens

A lovely thought. If one could find a remote region. England, in the main, has too many houses, too many roads and vehicles. And too many humans! And too many dogs - potential cat food! And owners who would complain if a pet was attacked. As for Wales, well Welsh Farmers are very protective towards their sheep. I fear it's a no go.

The return of the British Lynx

at 22:53 on 02/11/2015 by Callum Edinborough

It's about damn time we brought back one of our top predators, however I would like to see release sites for Lynx in Wales


at 20:22 on 01/11/2015 by C.Wood

Why shouldn't they be introduced. We need top predators.

Introducing Lynx

at 19:29 on 01/11/2015 by Gary White

Yes. I am a customer of ruralUKplc, I always buy British meat, veg, milk, etc whenever I can. I holiday in the great British Countryside, usually in b&bs. I love to see British Wildlife and Lynx would be a great draw for me. If farmers are compensated for any 'collateral damage' there may be then I can't see any problems.


at 19:27 on 01/11/2015 by David Thomas

No no no. We do not need another top predator. Rubbish that they will keep the deer population down as we would need to many. Also sheep would be killed in great numbers. No no no

Lynx reintroduction

at 9:41 on 01/11/2015 by Eileen Mawle

I can not think that reintroducing the Lynx , a top predator, will do anything but harm to wildlife in general. I farm in the uplands of England which are to a great extent managed for the benefit of wildlife and the local economy; there is no true wilderness and this cat, should it become established, would cause havoc to both. Your research results will no doubt make interesting reading. EM

Lynx reintroduction

at 19:04 on 31/10/2015 by George Louis

I support the reintroduction of Lynx as a. Measure that will have a beneficial impact on our natural areas to their and human advantage.

Lynx reintroduction

at 18:58 on 31/10/2015 by Malcolm Riding

No. Land use and the ecology of the U.K. has changed so much since the Lynx last hunted here that introducing a top predator will have major negative impacts. Better we use the money to look after what we've got.

Lynx reintroduction

at 19:25 on 30/10/2015 by Kevin Murphy

I think the lynx should be tried to be reintroduced to its former haunts, due to man being the cause of their demise from these Isles. Humans have increased in population and expanded their urban sprawl, but this should not be reason to prevent a native and lost species having the chance to return. They evolved to be here and still have a role in the natural world, although I still fear for their safety in a world of humans who compete with any other apex predator. I wish see the Lynx returned, as our smaller wildlife have had the chance. Beavers are back, red kites, otters, pine martens and red squirrels. My nearest possible release forest is Thetford, Norfolk and more people would pay to see one (or not, due to their secretive and shy nature) but we must as guardians of this world give the Lynx a chance.

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