Our view on reintroducing Lynx to Scotland…

The Trust believes there is both a moral and ecological case for reintroduction of species that have become extinct in Scotland due to human interventions. These include hunting, persecution, changes in land-use and habitat loss. Reintroducing apex predators, such as the lynx, could help restore the health and resilience of Scotland’s natural ecosystems. Any proposals for reintroduction would need to be assessed against the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN’s) Guidelines for Reintroductions and Conservation Translocations and the Scottish Code for Conservation Translocations. The necessary permissions would also need to be secured from the landowners and statutory licensing authority. These guidelines are helpful as they take an evidence-led approach to building and assessing the case for reintroductions and cover the ecological, social and economic benefits and impacts.

The Trust believes there is a case to be developed that would support the reintroduction of lynx. This is reflected in our 50 for the Future publication, which sets out 50 things that we believe should happen in Scotland over the next 50 years to benefit both people and wildlife – Number 2: Return lynx to Scotland’s landscapes for the first time in over a thousand years. We are working with other stakeholders to develop the case further for a lynx reintroduction over the next five years. We recognise that political and stakeholder support is an essential part of the process and so we need to take time to build consensus and to consider and respond pragmatically to issues raised by different interest groups. In the meantime, it is important that we continue to protect, restore and enhance our natural ecosystems so that they are better able to support reintroductions in the future.

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