Another step closer to the return of lynx to Britain?
Lynx to Scotland is a partnership between Trees for Life, Vincent Wildlife Trust and SCOTLAND: The Big Picture. In January 2021 they launched a year-long project to evaluate the feasibility of reintroducing lynx into Scotland from a social perspective. They will also identify any barriers that may exist and how these may be addressed. It will initially focus on the Cairngorms and Argyll.
The Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) probably became extinct in Britain hundreds of years ago, due to persecution, hunting, habitat loss (woodland) and local extinction of prey species. Top predators play an important part in ecosystems including influencing prey numbers and behaviour. As Europe’s largest native feline, lynx would help to improve woodland regeneration by predating deer and thus reducing herbivory. Lynx also prey on foxes which could benefit the smaller species that are susceptible to fox predation such as mountain hares and woodland grouse.