Lynx reintroduction meets mixed reaction from Scots

Researchers found a spectrum of opinion on reintroducing the predator

As conservationists consider reintroducing the lynx in Scotland, they’re being met by a wide range of opinions. “Rather than a simple binary split of ‘for’ and ‘against,’ we found a spectrum of different perspectives,” said David Bavin, of Vincent Wildlife Trust, the lead author of the study published in People and Nature. Researchers put the attitudes in five categories. Some people felt returning the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) could improve the ecosystem. Some expected economic benefits. Some were suspicious but open to the idea. Some felt the country wasn’t ready for it. Some opposed reintroduction altogether. Despite these differences, researchers found widespread agreement that any reintroduction efforts would require a cooperative approach. That may be an important lesson beyond Scotland, said co-author Sarah Crowley, of the University of Exeter. The findings “have wider relevance for wildlife reintroductions, species recovery and conservation conflicts elsewhere,” she said.

Read more from the University of Exeter.


Header Image: A Eurasian lynx appears in Norway. Conservationists are considering reintroducing the species to Scotland, where it hasn’t roamed in over 1,000 years. Credit: Peter Cairns/Northshots