Lynx reintroduction in Scotland? It’s complicated - University of Exeter

Plans to reintroduce the lynx in Scotland provoke a complex range of opinions, new research shows.

Lynx died out in Britain more than 1,000 years ago, but some conservation groups argue the species could help restore natural ecosystems.

The new study, by researchers from Vincent Wildlife Trust and the University of Exeter, investigated the views of stakeholders including farmers, land managers and conservationists.

“Our results show that views in Scotland about potential future lynx reintroduction are far more diverse, nuanced and complex than might have been assumed,” said lead author David Bavin, of Vincent Wildlife Trust. “Rather than a simple binary split of ‘for’ and ‘against’, we found a spectrum of different perspectives.”

Bavin continued: “The study identified important areas of disagreement over the potential impacts on sheep farming and the degree to which our environment should be managed by people or encouraged to self-regulate. There was a lack of trust between stakeholder groups, which primarily stemmed from some of the participants’ experiences of previous wildlife reintroductions and the management of recovering predators. Encouragingly however, there was agreement that, for any discussion about lynx reintroduction to move forward, a participatory and cooperative approach is essential.”

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Posted On: 31/03/2023

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