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Plans to bring Swedish lynx to UK

Published onsdag 9 augusti 2017 kl 13.22
Ecology professor: Biologically and technically I think it's feasible
(3:51 min)
The Lynx UK Trust plans to capture six Swedish lynx.
The Lynx UK Trust plans to capture six Swedish lynx. Credit: JONAS EKSTRÖMER / TT

A conservation group in the UK is planning to capture six lynx in Sweden and use them to reintroduce the big cat predator around 1,300 years after it became extinct in the country.

Henrik Andrén, Professor in Wildlife Ecology at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, has been advising The Lynx UK trust on how to capture lynx and also how their reintroduction to the UK is likely to affect roe deer, their main prey species.

“Biologically and technically I think it’s feasible,” Andren told Radio Sweden.

“We shoot a few here for legal harvest and those could be captured in box traps instead and transferred to the UK. And there’s lots of food, lots of prey where they plan to introduce them in northern England and southern  Scotland.”

Andrén said the biggest problem would be overcoming the opposition of hunters and farmers, with the former likely to complain of sharp decreases in the population of roe deer, and the latter of the risk of sheep being killed.

Lynx UK Trust plans to introduce the cat first at the Kielder Forest in Northumberland, and then also in Argyll and Inverness-shire in Scotland.

Dr Paul O'Donoghue from the Lynx UK Trust justifies reintroducing the predator on the grounds that it would be a natural way of combatting deer over-population, which is damaging forest habitats.

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