Is Reintroducing the Elusive Lynx to Scotland a Good Move? Experts Have Mixed Reactions

Although lynx were extinct in Britain more than a thousand years ago, some conservation groups think that the animal could aid in the recovery of natural habitats.

The opinions of stakeholders, such as farmers, land managers, and conservationists, have been examined in a recent study conducted by researchers from the Vincent Wildlife Trust and the University of Exeter.

Published in Humans and Nature is the piece.

Lynx reintroduction In Scotland?

(Photo : JORGE GUERRERO/AFP via Getty Images)

According to main author David Bavin of the Vincent Wildlife Trust, “our results demonstrate that views in Scotland about potential future lynx reintroduction are far more diverse, nuanced, and sophisticated than could have been imagined.”

Instead of a straightforward ‘for’ versus ‘against’ binary divide, we discovered a spectrum of various viewpoints, as per

“Lynx for Change” advocates for the return of lynx because they believe they can help with ecosystem restoration.

Extremely opposed, believing that people are assuming the functions of huge animals that are no longer present.

Supported the dialogue but believed there were too many socio-ecological impediments to proceed.

The study revealed significant areas of disagreement on the potential effects on sheep farming and the extent to which our environment should be under human management or permitted to self-regulate, according to Bavin.

There was a lack of trust between stakeholder groups, which was primarily brought on by some of the participants’ experiences with prior wildlife reintroductions and the management of recovering predators, but encouragingly, there was agreement that a participatory and cooperative approach is essential for any discussion about lynx reintroduction to move forward.

Also Read: Iberian Lynx, Source of Genes that Live on in Over 900 Felines, Dies at 20 – Spain

Lynx are solitary

Adults only congregating for breeding purposes. Early spring is typically when lynx kittens are born in dens made under big tree roots, fallen tree limbs, or piles of rocks, as per The San Diego Zoo.

A litter typically consists of one to four kittens, and the mother is the only caregiver. The eyes and ears of lynx kittens are closed at birth. When the mother has plenty of food, the kittens grow swiftly; when there is a lack of food, few kittens survive.

Lynx kittens start consuming solid food in the final few weeks of their four to five-month nursing period. Around 10 months old, young lynx are capable of supporting themselves, although they typically stay with their mother for up to a year and don’t achieve adult size until they are 2 years old.

Siblings who have recently parted ways with their mother might spend a few months traveling and hunting together before deciding to go their separate ways.

Mews, yowls, spits, and hisses are just a few of the sounds that lynx may produce that are comparable to those of house cats.

And they can purr just like our own cats. A mother lynx frequently purrs as she feeds or grooms her offspring.

During the breeding season, lynx typically yowl and snarl more frequently. To communicate with other lynx, the cats also employ scent markings, different ear positions, and facial expressions.

Related article: Threatened Lynx Are Understudied by Scientists: Report

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