Tuesday 4 October 2016

Re-introducing lynx to Scottish woodlands.... what a great idea!

I saw lynx once; they were kittens, two of them lying in the sun on a rock by a Canadian river. The memory is still vivid after 50 years.  Beautiful, elusive, shy, hunters they live deep in the woods (boreal forest ) surrounding the earth south of the tundra. They once lived in Scotland and there is a remote chance that they could be re-introduced.

Of course there are powerful interests ranged against the idea, " sheep will be killed, livelihoods will be at risk" cry the NFU (National Farmers Union) and the SCF (Scottish Crofters Federation) of which I'm a member. No doubt the deer stalking and shooting lobbies will add to the clamour. In Canada they live largely on lemmings (voles) and snow shoe hares. Here they would be
 powerful enough to kill deer calves and we have too many of them anyway.

The occasional lamb might well be killed if it strayed deep into the forest but the total will be far less than the 10 per cent of the annual crop lost near birth to starvation, exposure and disease each spring. Income from tourism exceeds that from sheep in the crofting counties and it's growing. Visitors come for the landscapes, the peace and quiet and the wildlife.

I would just like to know that lynx were living out there I don't need to see one. But if you want a utilitarian argument and a justification in dollars or pounds sterling - introduce the lynx and more visitors would come. Just to know that there was large cat ( about the size of a slim Labrador) among the trees would enhance their experience and there would always be a chance, however slim, that they might see one, or a pair of kittens sunbathing.

If you want to find out more just google, re-introduction of the lynx to Britain.

1 comment:

Sue G said...

We come up every year to 'see' your Wild Cats, Otters, Pine Martens, Eagles etc, and the beautiful scenery of Ardnamurchan. Not that we ever do ... (see the wildcats that is) but it's just the thought of it and the whole wildness of the place that is so lovely. Lynx would certainly make it even more so! Let's hope it happens, but I fear that 'the powers that be' will put a stop to it.