Reintroducing animals lost from our native fauna is a fraught business.
Scavengers like red kites are also now well re-established, after being blasted and poisoned to oblivion.
But if it was hard enough to make the case for beavers, it’s especially difficult when it comes to making the case for a keystone, apex predator.
This is where the needs of the natural world and those of landowners, managers and farmers clash most intensely.
Starting from the 1970s, the reintroduction of white-tailed eagles has been a big success – but it has been a lengthy process and it is still bitterly resented by some farming interests, who claim the massive raptors take lambs. It must be said here, the extent to which this happens is also hotly disputed. The birds, like all birds of prey, are also still subject to illegal persecution from gamekeeping interests.
Ingrained, unfounded fears mean it may be some time before we see wolves in Scotland again – but a case has been made for the reintroduction of the Eurasian lynx, absent now for at least 500 years.
As reported in TFN this week, charities have been working with countryside groups to try to discuss issues round the reintroduction of these big cats, to establish mutual understanding and common ground on wither side of the debate.
As we reported, there has been some progress, but actual lynx at large in Scotland are still a distant prospect.
But the message seems to be: not now, but not never.
So this is why we are asking:
Should lynx be reintroduced to Scotland? Vote now and join in the debate by leaving a comment below.