Reintroduction of Wolves and Lynx into Britain - Printable Version

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Reintroduction of Wolves and Lynx into Britain - Sully - 12-12-2015


Thoughts? We all know the positives in that it will contain the out of control deer population that decimate vegetation, but can big predators like wolves be successfully reintroduced, or has it been too long since their last inhabitation? And will as is often the case, the big predator be killed for eating livestock? And is britain too Urban, could wolves take the path foxes take and become urban scavenging all they can?

*This image is copyright of its original author

RE: Reintroduction of wolves and lynx into Britain - Sully - 04-29-2016

This project is starting to pick up some pace now, imo it's just a matter of time.

RE: Reintroduction of wolves and lynx into Britain - malikc6 - 05-02-2016

I'm all for it.

RE: Reintroduction of wolves and lynx into Britain - Sully - 08-21-2016

Thought I'd revive this thread with some more insight

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Reintroducing the wolf to Scotland
As a UK based large carnivore charity, we receive numerous enquiries about reintroduction of wolves to Scotland. This section of the website aims to clarify some of the issues surrounding a controversial topic.
In our view, in order for any reintroduction of the wolf to Scotland to be successful, it is first necessary to secure a safe and viable future for wolves in areas of Europe where they have managed to survive human persecution, and in areas where they have returned, aided by legal protection and European Community policies and conventions encouraging conservation of native habitats, flora and fauna. A model of co-existence formulated through this experience can then be applied to the challenge of restoring large carnivores in the Scottish Highlands.
Wolves and Humans aims to present the facts about wolves and share over twenty years experience of working with people who live and work alongside wolves and other large carnivores, in order to enable people to consider and discuss the issues, and hopefully lay the foundations for informed debate about possible reintroduction in the future. There is still a lot to learn from other countries about co-existing with wolves; resolving problems of livestock conflict, impact of human development on wolves, management of wolf populations and many other issues.

*This image is copyright of its original author
Reintroducing the wolf to the Scottish Highlands was first proposed in the late 1960s, but the idea only started to gain wider publicity and support following the reintroductions of the red wolf to the south-eastern United States in 1989, and the grey wolf to Yellowstone National Park in 1995. The media are always happy to report a story about reintroduction, keeping the topic constantly in the public forum; most proposals reported are unfounded, and lacking in scientific credibility.
Although the British government is required to consider the reintroduction of native species under article 22 of the EU Habitats and Species Directive of 1992, any proposal for reintroduction to Scotland would have to be approved by Scottish Natural Heritage, the government organisation responsible for wildlife and habitats in Scotland, and their position remains that they have no plans to consider reintroduction of wolves.
This is not going to change until something persuades them that reintroduction would not be a controversial issue and would be widely welcomed by the whole spectrum of land users and interests in Scotland. There are however pointers for the future; agriculture in Scotland, particularly sheep farming, which has always been one of the major stumbling blocks for returning large carnivores, has changed. From 2005, subsidies based on production, where farmers and crofters receive payment per head of sheep or cattle, were replaced by Single Farm Payments. This means that farms and crofts receive a subsidy regardless of whether livestock are grazed, or crops grown. This change, coupled with incentives such as the Farm Woodland Premium Scheme, which provides grants for regeneration of native woodland and forestry, could see sheep being replaced by woodland restoration in the future, thus increasing suitable habitat for both predators and their prey.
The concept of ‘rewilding’ – returning areas of the countryside to a more natural state and restoring once native species of flora and fauna, including wolves and lynx, has received much publicity in recent years, with journalist George Monbiot and his book ‘Feral’ providing a focal point. A charity, Rewilding Britain, has been set up with the aim of building a wider movement for rewilding and ultimately restoring ecosystems on land and at sea. Media publicity surrounding this moverment is bringing the concept of ecological restoration to a much wider audience than previously, and could help to change public perception of how the countryside should be managed and increase support for restoring species such as the wolf.
In the meantime, there is much valuable work being carried out by conservation groups such as Trees for Life to restore habitat, particularly the Caledonian forest in the Scottish Highlands. There is currently a trial reintroduction of the beaver in Knapdale in Scotland; if this is successful, and is followed by other reintroductions - possibly lynx, as proposed by the Lynx UK Trust, and wild boar, which are already present in many parts of the UK as farm escapees, then the ecosystem in Scotland will in future years be a much healthier place to welcome back the apex predator - the wolf.

RE: Reintroduction of wolves and lynx into Britain - Sully - 08-21-2016

It was said in 2015 the reintroduction of Wolves and Lynx were to go into operation in October, but it seems plans have stagnated. I would be thrilled if this came to fruition not only because of the obvious solution they provide, but because it'll be the most exciting wildlife locally I'll probably ever see.

And don't give me any of that culling nonesense if you belive that'll control population, remember Yellowstone?

RE: Reintroduction of wolves and lynx into Britain - Sully - 07-11-2017

Seems plans have stagnated to a halt. Just recycled articles from things written years ago. Going through with It is the most logical and viable option to restore the natural ecosystem so I don't see the problem. And wolves pose a tiny insignificant threat to people, they are more of a danger if you crash into them actually. Hate the dismissal for nature in our turbulent politics.

RE: Reintroduction of wolves and lynx into Britain - Sully - 07-15-2017

With introducing animals which have not been somewhere in a long time there will always be the social risk that comes with it as this article explores.

*This image is copyright of its original author

Europe’s Wolves — They’re Back

By Addison Nugent

Why you should care
Because conservation comebacks can upset the status quo.

On the evening of June 5, 2015, Romain Ferrand, then 16, was on his family’s cattle farm in the Maritime Alps in the south of France. Sitting outside, the young man suddenly heard a commotion erupt from the ordinarily tranquil mountain darkness: Cows mooed loudly in the distance, and the dogs began to bark and growl ferociously. Romain called his brother, Benjamin, and the two set out into the night armed with flashlights and their father’s hunting knife and rifle.
As soon as they arrived at the cattle pen, they saw eyes shining beyond the electric fence. They were the eyes of a predator recently returned to France — the Eurasian wolf. Benjamin went back to the farmhouse for reinforcements, leaving Romain alone with the knife and rifle. Perhaps sensing the teen’s vulnerability, nine wolves leaped from the darkness and surrounded him, snarling and snapping until the terrified young man fired a warning shot, and the pack dispersed into the night.
Quote:It’s impossible for us farmers to cohabitate with the wolf.
Jean-Luc Ferrand
Romain Ferrand’s ordeal is symptomatic of France’s intensifying wolf problem. The adaptable animals began drifting from Italy into France around 1992 and have been slowly increasing their numbers ever since. Though these relatively shy apex predators usually avoid humans, attacks on livestock have increased dramatically over the past decade, spelling trouble for traditional French free-range grass grazing and costing 21.4 million euros annually in public spending to compensate farmers for losses due to wolf predation and for protective measures. French farmers and animal conservationists are now at odds, with farmers campaigning for the right to kill the once-endangered species. “It’s impossible for us farmers to cohabitate with the wolf,” says Jean-Luc Ferrand, Romain’s father.

*This image is copyright of its original author

Ranging free and wild in Germany’s Bavarian Forest National Park.
Source DEA / C.DANI / I.JESKE/Getty
And it’s not just France. Europe is now home to 12,000 wolves, which is twice the wolf population of the U.S. in an area that’s half the size and more densely populated. This uptick also has incited outrage among pastoral farmers in Italy, where the mutilated bodies of illegally hunted wolves occasionally are displayed outside small towns.

Wildlife specialists estimate that there are about 360 wolves in France, which roam primarily in the Maritime Alps in packs of six to 15 individuals. Although that population may not sound like a lot, these master hunters are extremely efficient. A study published by the French Ministry of Ecology and Development of Sustainable Energy found that wolves killed 9,788 livestock (mostly sheep) in 2016, an increase of 853 over 2015, and a whopping 5,559 more kills than in 2010. Last year, 25 of France’s 96 departments reported wolf attacks.
By far the most affected region is the Maritime Alps, where 847 attacks took place between 2015 and 2016. “It is extremely difficult to see these animals killed and one’s hard work of several years destroyed by wolves,” says Phillippa Danaus, a local farmer. Though the French government allows 36 wolves to be killed each year, farmers argue that this number is too low and are calling for less government oversight in the face of soaring livestock deaths.
Quote:The wolf is a legally protected species … and there is no need to revisit that status.
Sylvie Cardona, Association for the Protection of Endangered Species
But animal rights groups are unsympathetic, claiming that farmers simply aren’t taking the necessary precautions to prevent attacks. “The wolf is a legally protected species … and there is no need to revisit that status,” says Sylvie Cardona, vice president of the Nièvre branch of the Association for the Protection of Endangered Species (AVES). “Breeders have difficulties because of an unfavorable economic context and not because of the wolf.” Cardona is referring to depressed prices in dairy, beef, pork and other animal products since 2014. “Their demands are totally out of place and outrageous.”
Europe has had a long and complex history with the Eurasian wolf. Ancient Vikings, Romans, Celts and Greeks all feared and respected the animal, writing it into their religious mythologies. The she-wolf, or Lupa Romana, the symbol of ancient Rome, was so revered that Romans only killed wolves when absolutely necessary.
All that changed in the Middle Ages. In France, wolf extermination was institutionalized by Charlemagne between 800 and 813 with the establishment of a special hunting corps called the louveterie, who were so efficient that the wolf had disappeared from France entirely by the 1940s. Other European state-sponsored programs, some of which lasted well into the 19th century, were equally efficient.

*This image is copyright of its original author

Three new additions to the growing European wolf population.
Source Barcroft Media/Getty
The French louveterie still exists, but as a wildlife and forestry service whose mission is preservation and population control. “The wolf is a beautiful animal,” says Joël Druyer, president of the Yvelines chapter of the louveterie. Taking a more evenhanded stance than his predecessors, Druyer admits that, as AVES claims, some farmers have gotten too used to a wolf-free France and do not take the necessary precautions, such as hiring a shepherd or buying guard dogs. Still, many farmers simply can’t keep up with the rapidly growing wolf population. “Some people take every precautionary measure and their herds still get attacked,” Druyer says.
One such farmer is Vidal Frédéric, a sheep farmer in the Maritime Alps, who lost three of his flock to wolves two days prior to speaking with OZY. Frédéric has an electric fence and eight guard dogs, and at times he sleeps in a house trailer next to the sheep enclosure; nevertheless, he still loses about 25 animals per year. “They’re adapting,” says Frédéric, noting that certain wolf packs have started attacking in the daytime when farmers think they are safe from the typically nocturnal hunters.
Whether you’re pro-wolf or pro-farmer, one thing is for sure: Wolves are repopulating the French landscape. “We will see wolves in the north of France in the years ahead,” says Druyer. “They’re coming.”

RE: Reintroduction of wolves and lynx into Britain - Sully - 07-18-2017


Wild lynx could soon roam the countryside for the first time in 1000 years

The Lynx UK Trust have applied to carry out a trial reintroduction of six Eurasian lynx in the Kielder Forest region of Northumberland.

*This image is copyright of its original author
The Lynx Trust are seeking permission to run a trial introducing 6 lynx back into the wild in the UK. (Image: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Wild lynx could soon roam the British countryside for the first time in 1000 years.
The Lynx UK Trust have applied to carry out a trial reintroduction of six Eurasian lynx in the Kielder Forest region of Northumberland.

And while any release would take place in England, they said the predators could cross the Border into Scotland.

Wild lynx could soon roam the British countryside for the first time in 1000 years.
The Lynx UK Trust have applied to carry out a trial reintroduction of six Eurasian lynx in the Kielder Forest region of Northumberland.

And while any release would take place in England, they said the predators could cross the Border into Scotland.

*This image is copyright of its original author

The predators could cross the Border into Scotland. (Image: Getty Images)
Scottish Natural Heritage are being kept informed after Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham pledged last year that no re-introductions would go ahead without full consultation.

Much of Scotland has huge potential for lynx habitat and farmers and crofters are said to have “serious concerns” about the trust’s proposals.
If Natural England give permission, four female lynx and two males will be set free in the Kielder Forest area for a five-year period, wearing satellite collars to monitor their movements.
The information would be used to decide whether full reintroduction can go ahead with more individuals across a wider area.

RE: Reintroduction of Wolves and Lynx into Britain - Rishi - 05-10-2018


RE: Reintroduction of Wolves and Lynx into Britain - Sully - 06-05-2018

One man’s plan to let wolves roam free in the Highlands Kevin McKenna
The ‘custodian’ of the Alladale estate wants to turn it into a fenced-off wildlife reserve
Sun 8 Apr 2018 06.00 BST Last modified on Wed 11 Apr 2018 16.12 BST

*This image is copyright of its original author

  Eurasian grey wolves at the Highland Wildlife Park, Kingussie, Scotland.
Photograph: Alamy
The echoes of Scotland’s predator prince faded into silence three centuries ago. The wolf was once lord of these Sutherland slopes and the forest floors beneath and now a voice in the wilderness is calling him home.
Paul Lister acquired the Alladale estate, 50 miles north of Inverness, in 2003 and immediately set about creating a wilderness reserve according to his perception of what these wild and beautiful places ought to look like. He can’t imagine them without the packs of wolves that once roamed free here.
But his views are considered eccentric by ramblers and conservationists, who view them as a rich man’s caprice, centring their objections on his plans to fence off the vast reserve.
Lister’s plans for the controlled release of a pack of Swedish wolves have been known for years but last week he seemed to issue an ultimatum to the Highland and Islands council, using a local newspaper interview to tell them: “I want to do this, but we would really need to have the details nailed down by the end of 2018.” Yet, when you speak to this man, driven as he is by a vision of how these places should be managed, you form an unshakeable impression that he will strive to fulfil it for as long as it takes.

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There are few spaces in the UK more achingly beautiful than Glen Mor and Glen Alladale, the ancient glacial valleys that form this wilderness. The last of the winter snow still coats the top of jagged ridges high above a river that cleaves the land below. At the top of one of these peaks is the only point in Scotland where you can observe the Atlantic on one side and the North Sea on the other. These rocks and this water are as old as Scotland itself and showcase this country in its most majestic raiment.

These places were once rich in a diversity of trees, flowers and wild animals, which rubbed alongside small human settlements eking a sparse existence. The people disappeared in their thousands during the clearances of the 18th and 19th centuries, forced to flee their homes in the face of the most ruthless, forced mass eviction of British citizens ever, clearing the way for the introduction of sheep as landowners eyed quicker and easier profits. Later they would be joined by thousands of red deer to exploit the whims of aristocratic shooting parties. These creatures denuded the great forests of their biodiversity, and something more barren emerged.
Lister’s form of land management is a rebuke to the way that much of Scotland has been artificially manipulated by fewer than 500 rich individuals to satisfy the demands of affluent hunting parties. “There will be no hunting, fishing or shooting here,” he said. “My connection to the Scottish Highlands goes back to the 1980s when my family invested in commercial forestry. I shot my first deer then. But over time I began to realise that human predation and selfishness had wrecked these places so that the soil became weaker and only a thin remnant of the ancient forests remained.
“You need to keep numbers of deer artificially high to satisfy the demands of the shooters who have paid a lot of money not to return empty-handed. Thus, an imbalance occurs. I want to restore balance and harmony to this place in accordance with the way it was created and the way it was meant to be. The controlled release of a pack of wolves would help achieve that harmony by changing the behaviours of the deer and keeping their numbers down to proportionate levels.”

Lister’s inspiration is North America’s Yellowstone national park where the introduction of a single pack of wolves in 1995 led to one of the most remarkable ecological turnarounds of the modern world. This is known as a trophic cascade and is the process by which the activity of an apex predator at the top of the food chain eventually stimulates the growth of several other animal species and enriches bio-diversity. It was in response to the way that huge numbers of elk and deer had grazed large parts of the natural landscape of Yellowstone into barren waste.
*This image is copyright of its original author

Paul Lister, laird of Alladale.
“I don’t see myself as the owner of the Alladale wilderness,” says Lister. “How can any human, no matter how rich or powerful he thinks he is, assume ownership of a mountain or a river? These were here long before we came along and will remain long after we’re gone. I’m merely a custodian of this place with a responsibility to leave it in a better state than when I acquired it so that future generations can derive some pleasure or solace from its natural beauty.

“My plans for the controlled release of wolves have been misrepresented. This will not mean packs of them roaming all over the Scottish Highlands. We’re talking about a fenced-in area of 50,000 acres; this wilderness is 23,000 so I am hoping to persuade one or two of my neighbours to buy into this.”
Lister’s plans to surround the wilderness with a 9ft fence has been met with howls of outrage by the rambling community, who insist that it represents an unconscionable restriction on the right to roam that is now secured in Scots law following a long struggle. Cameron McNeish, the author and broadcaster and one of the UK’s foremost authorities on outdoor pursuits, has welcomed much of what Lister is doing at Alladale in terms of wilderness management but feels that his plan to erect a fence around such a wide area is a non-starter. He has also stated that what he believes Lister is proposing is tantamount to a zoo (albeit a large one) for high-paying customers.
*This image is copyright of its original author

The Alladale estate. Photograph: Alamy
“I believe the job of re-introducing large creatures like wolves and bears should be performed by Scottish Natural Heritage,” says McNeish. “Such reintroductions are of national importance and shouldn’t be down to the whims and ambitions of individual landowners who may, or may not, have a financial interest at heart. Lister’s proposals fall within the remit of zoo legislation, and Europe’s habitats directive.
“Having predators like wolves or bears and prey in the same enclosure would introduce animal welfare issues,” he added. “This would need careful consideration as re-introduced grey wolves would have no natural predator in Scotland.”
Lister’s reserve manager Innes Macneill said: “There aren’t any Munros in these glens and we only get around 1,000 ramblers per year. If these plans come to fruition we would expect more than ten times that amount.”

Macneill’s family has worked these lands for generations. He is responsible for planting 800,000 saplings in the hope of restoring a forest of Scots pine. He also wants to see a growth in birch, rowan, ash, alder and willow, among others. “Trees make other trees,” he said.
A personal view? Although the wolf would be installed officially as Scotland’s top predator, in reality it would never attain that status; not while humans are around. No species is more predatory than we who have specialised over centuries in making other species extinct or driven them to the brink of it.
It is ironic that we now cavil at the gentle reintroduction of a magnificent beast that we hunted down remorselessly. If some sacrifices have to be made by the walking community, some of whom invade our most beautiful places and treat them as items to be ticked off on a middle-class bucket list, then so be it.
This article was amended on 11 April 2018 to correct 50,000 square miles to 50,000 acres.

RE: Reintroduction of Wolves and Lynx into Britain - Sully - 06-05-2018

@Rishi still just talks, murmurs, nothing more unfortunately

RE: Reintroduction of Wolves and Lynx into Britain - Sully - 04-17-2019

"Reintroductions are important tools for the conservation of individual species, but recently more attention has been paid to the restoration of ecosystem function, and to the importance of carrying out a full risk assessment prior to any reintroduction programme. In much of the Highlands of Scotland, wolves (Canis lupus) were eradicated by 1769, but there are currently proposals for them to be reintroduced. Their main wild prey if reintroduced would be red deer (Cervus elaphus). Red deer are themselves a contentious component of the Scottish landscape. They support a trophy hunting industry but are thought to be close to carrying capacity, and are believed to have a considerable economic and ecological impact. High deer densities hamper attempts to reforest, reduce bird densities and compete with livestock for grazing. Here, we examine the probable consequences for the red deer population of reintroducing wolves into the Scottish Highlands using a structured Markov predator–prey model. Our simulations suggest that reintroducing wolves is likely to generate conservation benefits by lowering deer densities. It would also free deer estates from the financial burden of costly hind culls, which are required in order to achieve the Deer Commission for Scotland’s target deer densities. However, a reintroduced wolf population would also carry costs, particularly through increased livestock mortality. We investigated perceptions of the costs and benefits of wolf reintroductions among rural and urban communities in Scotland and found that the public are generally positive to the idea. Farmers hold more negative attitudes, but far less negative than the organizations that represent them."


RE: Reintroduction of Wolves and Lynx into Britain - Sully - 04-17-2019

Lynx 'would spread across Highlands within a century' if reintroduced to Scotland

Reintroducing wild lynx into Scotland would result in the "top end predators" spreading across the entire Highlands within a century, according to a study.
The Stirling University study suggests three sites would be suitable for the animal - the Scottish part of Kielder Forest in the Borders, Aberdeenshire and the Kintyre Peninsula. 
It found the Kintyre Peninsula was the most suitable, with the population spreading across the Highlands in the 100 years following release.
But it said the Central Belt "would act as a barrier to colonisation" between the Highlands and Southern Uplands, providing evidence for two distinct habitat networks".

Lynx are thought to have become extinct in the UK during the medieval period, around 1,300 years ago. The carnivore consumes about one or two kg of meat every day.
The study says that "in recent years, its potential reintroduction has been widely debated". Conservationists claim its re-introduction as "top predator" could "help restore the health of Scotlands natural ecosystems".
But Fergus Ewing, the SNP's Rural Economy Minister, told farmers last year that wolves, bears or lynx would be reintroduced "over my dead body."
Tom Ovenden, a PhD researcher who led the study, said further research was needed to assess "other important factors" such as public attitudes.

Using current land cover data, Mr Ovenden conducted an initial study to establish the current location and extent of suitable forest habitat for lynx in Scotland, updating historic work. 
Further research to identify the demographic and dispersal characteristics of the lynx elsewhere in Europe, provided the model with the necessary parameters.
The team then used the model to assess how the lynx would establish a population, spread, and colonise new habitat, from each potential reintroduction site over a period of 100 years.

Mr Ovenden said: "Reintroducing large carnivores is often complicated and expensive, meaning that getting things right first time is extremely important.
"This initial research is encouraging and suggests that Scotland is indeed ecologically suitable for the reintroduction of Eurasian lynx, but this suitability is highly dependent on where reintroduction takes place and more modelling work is required."
He said the project had provided a "solid foundation" bur further research is required.
Jo Pike, public Affairs director at the Scottish Wildlife Trust, said: "Any future reintroduction would have to be carefully planned, widely consulted on, and rigorously assessed against national and international guidelines. 
"This research is a useful contribution to the evidence base that needs to be developed over the coming years." 

The Kintyre Peninsula was also recently identified by the Lynx UK Trust as one of three sites in Scotland for intensive consultations on a trial reintroduction of the species.
Other locations described by the Trust as "suitable lynx habitat" were Queen Elizabeth Forest Park region, 30 miles north of Glasgow, and Glen Feshie, next to the Cairngorms National Park.
However, NFU Scotland and the Scottish Crofting Federation have vigorously opposed the move, warning it would lead to "significant predation of ewes and lambs."


"Globally, large carnivores have been heavily affected by habitat loss, fragmentation and persecution, sometimes resulting in local extinctions. With increasing recognition of top-down trophic cascades and complex predator-prey dynamics, reintroductions are of growing interest for restoration of ecosystem functioning. Many reintroductions have however failed, in part due to poor planning and inability to model complex eco-evolutionary processes to give reliable predictions. Using the case study of Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), a large predator being considered for reintroduction to Scotland, we demonstrate how an individual-based model that integrates demography with three distinct phases of dispersal (emigration, transfer and settlement) can be used to explore the relative suitability of three geographically-distant potential reintroduction sites, multi-site reintroductions and two founding population sizes. For a single-site reintroduction of 10 lynx, our simulation results show a clear hierarchy of suitability across all metrics. Reintroduction in the Kintyre Peninsula (west coast) consistently performed best, with a probability of population persistence at year 100 of 83%, and the Scottish component of Kielder Forest (southern Scotland) worst, with only a 21% chance of population persistence to year 100. Simultaneous two-site reintroduction in the Kintyre Peninsula and in Aberdeenshire (near the east coast) of 32 lynx gave a 96% persistence at 100 years. Our model was highly sensitive to survival, particularly of adults, highlighting this parameter's importance for reintroduction success. The results strongly indicate the potential viability of Eurasian lynx reintroduction to Scotland given the current cover of suitable woodland habitat. More generally, our work demonstrates how emerging modelling approaches incorporating increased realism in representing species' demography, ecology and dispersal can have high value for quick, inexpensive assessment of likely reintroduction success and for selection between alternative strategies"


*This image is copyright of its original author


RE: Reintroduction of Wolves and Lynx into Britain - Sully - 04-25-2019

The latest news on Lynx is that an proposal to release 6 into the wild was rejected. You can read that here:


And the response from Lynx UK Trust:


RE: Reintroduction of Wolves and Lynx into Britain - Sully - 06-13-2019

An article on Anders Povlsen, a billionaire who's aim is to restore the original ecology of the highlands in the area he has bought. 

Here is his manifesto which seems honest enough to me: 


And here are the parts of the article relevant to reintroduction:

"They have embarked on an ambitious programme which aims to restore native woodland, peatlands, wetlands and rivers and species on their estates - although this "wildland" pledge has been met with scepticism from some, who fear the couple's ultimate goal is to reintroduce predators such as wolves and lynx to their ancient Highland habitats.
People close to the Povlsens play down this possibility - and insist the couple's actions can be partly explained through the cultural ethos known as Jante Law, which underpins life in Denmark and other parts of Scandinavia.
In essence, it means that people are expected to live life in a thoughtful and modest way, and "not to think you are anything special".

Tim Kirkwood, chief executive of Wildland - the Aviemore-based company which manages the Povlsen estates - says the couple are "genuinely modest and humble people" who "prefer to be judged by what they do and not what they say".

These actions include planting one-and-a-half million trees on the Killiehuntly Estate in the Cairngorms National Park, as well as reducing the numbers of sheep and deer on many of the estates.

Tim Kirkwood, chief executive of Wildland - the Aviemore-based company which manages the Povlsen estates - says the couple are "genuinely modest and humble people" who "prefer to be judged by what they do and not what they say".

These actions include planting one-and-a-half million trees on the Killiehuntly Estate in the Cairngorms National Park, as well as reducing the numbers of sheep and deer on many of the estates.

*This image is copyright of its original author

Mr Kirkwood says the Povlsens will invest about £50m over the next three years alone on re-wilding projects across their estates, with the promise of further investment over what is considered to be a 200-year project by the family.

He added: "I cannot stress enough this is not land ownership for the sake of land ownership. These plans are considered and for the long-term benefit of the landscape and its ecology.
"By having continuous lands I think it does help manage the landscape better, it is much easier to achieve things, certainly in a consistent manner than you would struggle to achieve with more fragmented ownership."

Mr Kirkwood also described the potential reintroduction of species such as wolves and lynx as being at the "more radical end" of the re-wilding scale - with decisions on whether it should happen for future generations to take, and "not now".

He added: "We are more at the people and place end of the scale just now. It is more important to forge ahead with these large-scale conservation projects."


I would be lying if I said I wasn't annoyed at the general perception of predators here in the Britain. The irrational fear is absurd. Having gone through the standard British education system, I can say with 100% confidence that everything I know about the natural world has been self taught. Ecology/zoology/macrobiology are neglected subjects. Of course ignorance leads to fear, and you have pushback which is unsubstantiated, based on emotion. This is aimed towards farmers too, who neglect the positive effect predators have on the very environment they make a living. These isles have slaughtered all it's big predators and raped its environment in the name of "development" yet have the arrogance to look down upon other countries who have dwindling populations of predators(better than extinct!) and declining respective biome cover in order to achieve what we did years ago. We need to get our affairs in order before waving the finger. It is hypocrisy.