Should the lynx be reintroduced to the Scottish Highlands? Scottish public to have their say

The question of whether to reintroduce the Eurasian lynx is to be put to the public of Scotland via a consultation being run by a group of charities.

It is hoped that the apex predators will help keep exploding populations of deer under control in the Scottish Highlands and conservationists believe that there is enough space to support a population of some 200 animals.

It is thought that the last lynx in the UK died about 500 years ago, but, since the 1970s, the predators have been slowly reintroduced in several European countries, such as Germany, Switzerland, France, Slovenia and Croatia, among others.

The consultation is being launched by a group of charities, including Trees for Life, Scotland: The Big Picture and the Vincent Wildlife Trust.

‘Reintroducing lynx would inevitably bring challenges,’ says Jenny MacPherson, science and research programme manager at the Vincent Wildlife Trust.

‘Lynx to Scotland will actively include stakeholders representing the full range of perspectives, in order to produce meaningful conclusions about the level of support or tolerance for lynx and, therefore, the likely success of any future reintroduction.’