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Reintroduction plans could see lynx return to Scotland

This news post is almost 7 years old

The Lynx UK Trust would like to see 250 of the cats brought in near Glasgow

Wild cats could be brought back to Scotland.

A consultation is taking place with landowners over plans to introduce 250 lynx between Loch Lomond and the Great Glen.

The plans have been brought forward by the Lynx UK Trust and said the reintroduction would benefit wildlife in the area.

Chief scientific adviser Dr Paul O’Donoghue said: "Lynx control deer, creating more habitat for capercaillie in the process, and they suppress mesopredators that eat the eggs of capercaillie, such as foxes and pine martens.

"Scottish forest ecosystems are wildly out of balance; overpopulation mirrored by underpopulation of iconic Scottish species such as the capercaillie, now on the very edge of extinction in Scotland.

"Without doubt, lynx can help restore some balance and save this species."

Scottish Land and Estates said that it is not convinced by the benefits of bringing the lynx back, and that the consequences are not fully understood.

Eurasian Lynx – which tend to be between 80cm to 130cm in length – used to be found throughout Europe and Asia, but are thought to have been hunted to extinction in the UK between 500-700 AD.