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Reintroducing the lynx (1 Viewer)

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Gleb Berloff

Guest
Which animal would you most love to see reintroduced to England out of these animals:
1) White-tailed eagle
2) Lynx
3) Wolf
4) Bear
5) Wolverine
6) Eagle owl
7) Montagu's harrier
To be honest I would love all of them to be reintroduced. The white tailed eagle is back- and I would love to see them in the summer. I hate temperatures above 20 degrees, so would much rather visit the Highland than something like Spain. Montagu's harrier is almost extinct when it would love the marshes of East Anglia. Eagle owls are hanging on by their talon tips in the north amidst intense persecution- and they have been proven to belong to British fauna.
All because of stupid farmers. I can't believe the Parliament just doesn't force them to shut up. We don't have eagles in East Anglia because of them.
Deers are literally destroying he Caledonian forests because they devour regrowing pines in their huge numbers once controlled by wolves.
Bears would be wonderful for the Highland. Wolverines as well.
Of course, any of that can cause farmer hysteria. But there is one big difference with the lynx. It is almost there- it is almost back. Just like the police can protect the lady's slipper orchid from collectors, just like the RSPB protected the first ospreys from egg thieves, conservation organisations can protect lynx from being killed by farmers.
This petition is almost there:
https://www.change.org/p/environmen...-bring-the-lynx-back-to-the-uk?redirect=false
I don't know fit his is allowed to post here, I didn't find any rules prohibiting this. I am 18 years old so cannot contribute to this, but I am sure people here would either contribute or at least, please share this to anyone you know, on Facebook (which I don't have) or anything else. 8,771 out of 10,000 signatures. We can all do this, who is able to.
We brought the white-tailed eagle back, now let's bring the lynx back to where it belongs- in the UK.
 

Sangahyando

Well-known member
WTE - will probably happen in the long run, as long as they're not systematically poached. They're already common in similar habitat here in Germany.
Lynx - if at all, maybe in Scotland and/or Wales.
Wolf - nope, would be a huge waste of tax money for no return. Don't see that happening, not even in Scotland. The island is just too densely populated for that. Plus, it's an island.
Bear - lol no.
Wolverine - I don't think the climate agrees with them, plus there's not enough carrion to go around. What would they eat, sheep?
Eagle Owl and Monty - probably.
 

jurek

Well-known member
I am rather confused by the legal situation in Britain concerning wild animals and right to reintroduce them. Just few points:

- Landowners with forestry could be a driving force to release lynx to reduce numbers and disperse deer, indeed.
- I doubt whether a landowner with forest could legally reintroduce lynx on his land, and how much say would his neighbors have.
- Lynx damage is a non-issue economically both for the state and individual farmers, because lynxes very rarely kill sheep. It is an issue of egos, lack of knowledge, some local politics etc.
- In Europe, monetary damage by lynx is paid centrally by the state.
- One could make an economic cost-benefit analysis of increased tourism, reduced forestry damage by deer and damage to sheep. Another question is, how to make the findings acceptable, and how possible is that the actual project would be vetoed by big egos nevertheless.
- Indeed, there is a issue of tragedy of veto - majority of society supports conservation, but decisive say have few locals who can block the issue.

White-tailed eagle will probably faster recolonize England naturally from Scotland and the continent, than a project could clear bureaucracy. Eagle owls are already present in small numbers. Indeed, several of most successful reintroductions in Britain occured by animals escaping from falconers, zoos or farms. But it is difficult to see it happening in case of lynx.
 
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Sangahyando

Well-known member
Some people have put forward the notion of introducing Iberian Lynx instead of Eurasian Lynx, in order to create an additional refuge for the species. Sounds interesting IMO, but the problem is, where do you find enough Iberian Lynx to start a functional breeding population and also, will they be capable of preying on Roedeer and other small deer and mesopredators in the same way Eurasian Lynx do?
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
I am rather confused by the legal situation in Britain concerning wild animals and right to reintroduce them. Just few points:

The first hurdle is to prove that they were in fact, once native, debate for example over Eagle Owl.

As far as I'm aware, the only legal obstacle, would be the often, numerous challenges from unhappy locals for various reasons, see Beavers for an example.
 
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Gleb Berloff

Guest
I fully agree. With everything. No matter what, people will be opposed because of myths and paranoia. I would ignore the locals and show that there was no danger, but of course it is not up to me. In fact, good that, because I would have installed literally Draconian punishments for bird persecution :)
Beavers were successfully reintroduced, and I am delighted for that. Why were people unhappy with beavers?
Oh, capercaillie is back as well. I am sure farmers regard them more as delicious than collateral damage, and that is why I don't remember much opposition?
Of course, only native animals. The prime example of why this is mandatory is cane toad in Australia.
But lynx was proven to live here once- it died out 1,300 years ago
Eagle owl lived here as well, thousands of years ago, before dying out
 

Sangahyando

Well-known member
I fully agree. With everything. No matter what, people will be opposed because of myths and paranoia. I would ignore the locals and show that there was no danger, but of course it is not up to me. In fact, good that, because I would have installed literally Draconian punishments for bird persecution :)
Beavers were successfully reintroduced, and I am delighted for that. Why were people unhappy with beavers?
Oh, capercaillie is back as well. I am sure farmers regard them more as delicious than collateral damage, and that is why I don't remember much opposition?
I'm afraid it's not that simple. While I can empathize with the frustration of being stuck with a much impoverished native terrestrial fauna (imagine living in a country with only four species of woodpeckers...), there are several things to note:
1) it's not always farmers that are opposed to reintroduction schemes, and not all farmers are ignorant either.
2) farmers and other rural land users need to be able to operate their business. Even in the least populated areas of Germany, wolves have proven to be disruptive and caused significant damage to some livestock owners. Making your pastures "wolf-proof" means a huge additional amount of labour, not all of which is compensated for by the state. And Britain is more densely inhabited than those regions, so the wolf option goes right out the window. Same for bears and wolverines.
3) The beaver introductions may have caused other kinds of damage. Plus, unregulated/illegal introductions are highly problematic from a conservation point of view.
4) Eagle Owls may have been native thousands of years ago, and they do have their benefits, eating crows, pigeons, rats, stray cats/dogs, and possibly Grey Squirrels. However, they dine on hedgehogs, buzzards, Tawny Owls, etc with equal enthusiasm, which could create problems down the road for some protected native species.

AFAIK Capers are also struggling, since they are not well adapted to disturbance and local abundances of predators (e.g. foxes). Either way, little to do with farmers, more with other land owners, hunters, foxes, cyclists, dog walkers, etc.

I do agree that lynx doesn't seem to be a problematic species, as far as I know. They also don't kill people, unlike some of the aforementioned critters.
 

jurek

Well-known member
The first hurdle is to prove that they were in fact, once native

Lynx were native to England:
https://www.researchgate.net/public...f_Eurasian_lynx_Lynx_lynx_in_medieval_Britain

This article also shows how full of gaps are historic records of wildlife in Britain, and further omissions come from too hesitant accepting of evidence or poor research. It reminds me also how past breeding of little egrets in Britain was not believed for decades, until they naturally recolonized England.
 
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Gleb Berloff

Guest
The best way to introduce I think is on a privately-owned land. The Cairngorms Reserve, for example, is private, and I think owls would flourish there without disturbance and an abundance of prey. Is it true that eagle owls can kill everything up to the size of a young deer? That could be a method of population control ever since wolves were wiped out.
I am convinced eagle owl is a native species. What I do not like is some of them living near hen harriers. Eagle owls are killers and they will kill hen harriers if they catch them. But I feel like they deserve to become permanent residents, no matter what farmers feel. Its not like it is an Ural owl being introduced. But I do like seeing them back for sure.
About lynx their predation of foxes is actually useful for farmers. And it is time we finally got back a big predator. I feel like wolves should be brought back as well, even bears.
 

jurek

Well-known member
About eventual white-tailed eagles in England:

The easiest method, within the means of one or few persons, would be to live-trap independent young birds in Poland or Germany 9with permissions etc etc), transport them to England and release immediately. The wild population grew that locally up to 100 WTEs of different ages gather together, and breeding territories are packed close together. I assume that if several young birds are together to England, they would not return back, having breeding partners around and would not want to go back to the area where few vacant territories exist.

Low cost and low complexity of the project outweighs problems, in my opinion, in the situation when the species is no longer very rare in Central Europe. There is a belief that young WTEs form attachment to the place where they fledged, but I think there are records of ringing birds speaking otherwise.
 
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Gleb Berloff

Guest
All true. There seem to be a lot of eagles around in some places in Scotland. Do you think someday it will surpass the golden eagle population?
 

Borjam

Registered User
Supporter
Spain has a long experience trying to recover lynx populations. And unfortunately it's very difficult. It's a long ranging predator that needs a big territory and prey. And every year several specimens are killed by traffic. In 2018 it was at least 27.

And Spain has large areas with a really low population density. Countries with a more humanized contryside can be even more difficult I'm afraid.
 
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Gleb Berloff

Guest
I agree, it would be difficult
Maybe this can be avoided by starting in the Highlands, away from most civilisation? Or in that fenced-off 50,000 acre reserve being thought about
 

opisska

Jan Ebr
Poland
I am surprised by the idea to introduce Lynx "on private land". How would you plan to make them stay there? Afaik Lynx is extremely mobile and will just wander to any distance if they feel like it. It will end like in the Czech Republic, with Lynx wandering out of protected areas and getting secretly shot - it's illegal, but it's guaranteed to happen and the hunters cover each other's backs and nobody ever finds out.

As other people said already, Wolf is outright silly; we have them naturally coming back in the Czech Republic and it's already not working very well, the country is just too densely populated - unlike NE Poland, where it works much better in the vast wilderness.
 
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Gleb Berloff

Guest
Someone aims to create a reserve with an electric fence. Wolf can be kept in there. It is either introduce these animals like bears and eagle-owls or see the Caledonian forests decimated by deer and capercaillie and Scottish crossbill extinct.
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England

jurek

Well-known member
All true. There seem to be a lot of eagles around in some places in Scotland. Do you think someday it will surpass the golden eagle population?

With reasonable protection it should happen, because white-tailed eagle habitat and food (large waters and coasts with fish and waterfowl) is much more common than golden eagle's. WTE is also commoner than GE in several countries in Europe, e.g. Germany and Poland.

However, how long it would take? With so low population of white-tailed eagles, probably none of people reading Birdforum now will see it in their lifetime. That is why I am in favor of often active conservation intervention. I want to see nature in my life, not hope that everything will turn good in future.

I am surprised by the idea to introduce Lynx "on private land". How would you plan to make them stay there? Afaik Lynx is extremely mobile and will just wander to any distance if they feel like it.

Britain has weird (for Europeans) legal system, where wildlife is property of the land owner, not the common property. In principle, rights of a landowner who wants lynx should not be less than another who does not want one.

It will end like in the Czech Republic, with Lynx wandering out of protected areas and getting secretly shot - it's illegal

Illegal killing is often a problem, but most countries like Germany, France and Spain managed to control it eventually. Probably also because hunters realize that their fear of predators were overblown.
 

opisska

Jan Ebr
Poland
Britain has weird (for Europeans) legal system, where wildlife is property of the land owner, not the common property. In principle, rights of a landowner who wants lynx should not be less than another who does not want one.

The point is, who is gonna tell the lynx? They will just leave.
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
Someone aims to create a reserve with an electric fence. Wolf can be kept in there. It is either introduce these animals like bears and eagle-owls or see the Caledonian forests decimated by deer and capercaillie and Scottish crossbill extinct.

Unfortunately there may be little than can save the C forests in the long term given their intolerance to a warming climate but putting up high fences to keep deer out maybe more effective in the short term than putting up fences to keep your wolves and bears in.

But seriously what does putting a wolf in a ‘reserve with an electric fence’ round it have anything to do with ‘reintroduction’? Wildlife safari parks and fenced in reserves is hardly integrated environmental management plan and will do little other than create a false sense of security that we are ‘helping nature’, when in fact we are more and more redefining the boundaries in which it may be allowed to flourish in order we may further trash the “leftover’.
 
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