Article on reintroduction of wolves - how it happened naturally in Europe and lessons for UK

HareBrain

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I stayed at the hunting lodge at Alladale (or a "chalet" next to it) in 2012. Beautiful place even then. Lister's rewilding project at the time included not just wild boar but European bison, which were in large pens dotted around the valley; he also had a breeding project for Scottish wildcats. Much of the view from the lodge was of slopes covered with Scots pines only a few inches high, which had just been planted. I'd like to see how it's looking now.
 

Parson

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Out here in the sticks of Iowa we can see this "rewilding" happening naturally. Mountain Lions which hadn't been seen around here since the late 1800's are now sighted rarely, but with increasing frequency. The first one known to have been in Iowa in that long was killed near my home. Bald eagles are now common, when I was a kid they were never seen. Wild Turkeys are now a nuisance, with flocks of them in urban areas, also never seen in my youth. And on and on the list goes. No wolves yet, but there has been the odd moose and last year a black bear.

As everywhere those who live in the cities think that this is a wonderful thing and farmers, like the shepherd in the story, feel the pain and often feel this is very unfair.
 

Dave

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As everywhere those who live in the cities think that this is a wonderful thing and farmers, like the shepherd in the story, feel the pain and often feel this is very unfair.
They cull the deer in Richmond Park for the same reasons as given in that article. Although huge*, Richmond Park isn't that far from the centre of London (you can see St. Paul's Cathedral from one high point) and "those who live in the cities" complain most vocally about the culling. They shoot the oldest stags, otherwise the young bucks would never get a chance to breed, and the population's genome would deteriorate over time with more inbreeding and survival of the less fit individuals. Shooting them is not the best way to ensure the survival of the fittest though. A few wolves in there would work much better, and it would have the added advantage of keeping the tourists from getting too close to the wildlife, as they do now.

In years with poor weather** then it's possible that the wolves might then stray onto agricultural lands. Then the farmers would complain that I told you so, and they would have a good case. Farmers in the UK wield a lot of clout. While we are still exterminating badgers, a protected species, I really cannot see the reintroduction of wolves ever happening.

*Richmond Park is so large that you could fit all the other eight Royal Parks inside it and still have room to spare.
**Global Warming is going to increase the prevalence of droughts and severe weather events..
 

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