Is it time to bring back the Lynx?

An Imperial student is seeking people’s views on reintroducing wild lynx parts of the UK, to explore whether this might one day be feasible.

imperial college london

An Imperial student is seeking people’s views on reintroducing wild lynx parts of the UK, to explore whether this might one day be feasible.

Jamie Wyver, who is currently studying towards an MSc in Conservation Science at Imperial College London, is exploring attitudes towards bringing back the carnivorous animal, once native to the country. He is speaking to those who would be most affected, including farmers, gamekeepers, hill walkers, and the general public who enjoying walking in the countryside.

His project focuses on the Scottish Highlands and the Forest of Dean, two areas where a reintroduction may be theoretically possible.

Returning animals to their former ranges is now often discussed in connection with ‘Rewilding’. Bringing back a carnivore can restore a natural food chain and re-balance an ecosystem.

However, reintroduction projects involving wildlife that has been absent for hundreds of years require careful planning and considerable consultation with the people who will be living alongside those animals. Jamie said “Conservation isn’t about fencing off areas and keeping people out. It’s about working with people. When we’re discussing wildlife reintroductions it is vital to talk to those who may be directly affected by the return of certain animals. In this case I’m keen to hear from farmers, gamekeepers, landowners and others who live and work in the countryside.”

Paul De Ornellas, Jamie’s project supervisor at ZSL, said “We proposed this research project initially because Lynx are now making a comeback across Europe. The question is, could this happen in the UK as well?”

Jamie is comparing views of people in Scottish Highlands with those of people in the Forest of Dean.

If you live and work in those areas and would like to take part in this research, complete the online survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/N5N5PBX

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