by Graham Pierrepoint
The lynx could be reintroduced to the UK within months after a 1,300-year absence --
As our world changes and our environment evolves, so do the flora and fauna around us. Sadly, this has led to the mass extinction of many an animal and plant, meaning that those of us alive today will never have had the chance to see the likes of the dodo in the flesh – and with stark warnings abound regarding the future of some of our best-loved creatures such as the tiger facing imminent threats of being wiped out, the thought of losing some of our most iconic beasts does still seem rather strange – yet it is a sad fact that many species are dying out on a regular basis. There is, however, always a chance for certain species to make a comeback of sort in far-flung climes where they may have visited in the past.
It’s thought that the sad case of the Eurasian Lynx – a wildcat which has been extinct in the British isles since around the 8th century AD – could be turned around completely, as plans to bring six of the breed to the UK could come to fruition within the next few months – thanks to the efforts of The Lynx Trust. The plans in question have been submitted to Natural England to propose that a scheme involving the import of two male cats and four females from Sweden could be undertaken with the aid of humane tracking over five years. It’s a proposal that could see the return of an animal to Britain that no UK citizen alive today has seen on their shores.
There has been a long consultation period and it has been hailed by chief scientific advisor Dr Paul O’Donoghue – working with The Lynx Trust – as a ‘moral obligation’. Dr O’Donoghue advised that the slaughter of the beasts in the name of fur is ‘a wrong we have to right’.
Wildcats continue to thrive in the UK but it has been centuries since a Eurasian Lynx has set foot on British soil. The Lynx Trust is hopeful that their proposal, backed up by almost a year of consultation, will be honored – particularly as it could stand to bring added variety to wildlife and could even boost tourism of the country’s woodland. A large amount of deer available will certainly benefit the cats, too – meaning that the British woodland could prove to be a paradise of sorts already set up for them.
Link: The Lynx Trust