24 March 2014
With large tufted ears, a short tail and a trusting look, one could almost believe that lynxes are just big cats. In their hearts, however, they are wild and untamed. They are the tigers of Europe. This is the story of a hard earned friendship. On the one side is Milos Majda, a quiet, nature loving ranger at the Mala Fatra national park in Slovakia.
On the other side are two small lynxes, fresh from the zoo. With Milos’ help, it’s hoped the lynxes will return to the home of their ancestors in the forests of Mala Fatra in the heart of Slovakia. For two years Milos Majda and the biologist and animal filmmaker Tomas Hulik follow the journey of the lynx siblings from their warm nursery inside a cabin into the wilderness.
Wild lynx to return to Britain after 1,300 years
In one of the most ambitious ‘rewilding’ projects ever to take place in the UK, the large deer-eating felines could be introduced to three unfenced estates later this year
By Camilla Turner
7:32PM GMT 08 Mar 2015
Known as the Keeper of Secrets, the elusive forest-dwelling creature has been extinct in Britain for over 1,300 years.
But now the wild lynx could roam the woods of England and Scotland once again, as part of the most ambitious “rewilding” project ever attempted in the UK.
If the Lynx UK Trust’s scheme is approved, the large cats, which prey on deer as well as rabbit and hare, will be released onto three privately owned, unfenced estates in Norfolk, Cumbria and Aberdeenshire.
“The lynx is one of the most enigmatic, beautiful cats on the planet,” Dr Paul O’Donoghue, a scientific adviser to the trust said. “The British countryside is dying and lynx will bring it back to life.”
The Eurasian lynx is the largest lynx species, with powerful, long legs, with large webbed and furred paws. Due to its solitary and secretive nature, lynx does not present a threat to humans.
The trust has launched a public consultation to determine public reaction to the plan, after which it will lodge a formal application with Natural England and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), the government agencies that license such releases.
If the plan is given the green light, four to six Eurasian lynx wearing GPS tracking collars would be released later this year at each of the sites, all of which are rich in deer and tree cover.
One of the chosen sites is near Norfolk’s Thetford Forest, one of England’s largest and wildest woodlands and the other is in Ennerdale, a remote Lake District valley.
Lynx could help control Britain’s population of more than one million wild deer, which lack natural predators. Deer damage woodland by overgrazing and eat the eggs of birds that nest on the ground or in low bushes.
Peter Watson of the Deer Initiative which campaigns for the controlling deer in a sustainable way, welcomed the experimental reintroduction of lynx, saying that introducing lynx could help solve this problem.
Tony Marmont, a businessman who owns Grumack Forest, near Huntly in Aberdeenshire, told the Sunday Times that lynx will have an “extremely beneficial effect” on forest ecosystems. He added that lynx would serve as “ambassadors for wider conservation projects”.
However, not everyone is as enthusiastic, as the economic impact of reintroducing large predators remains controversial.
Previous reintroduction plans have been opposed and sometimes blocked by farmers arguing that creatures such as lynx and birds of prey attack livestock and gamebirds. …
In Germany, 14 lynx were reintroduced to a site in the Harz mountains in 2000 and have since bred and colonised other areas. Another reintroduction, in Switzerland in the 1990s, has also seen animals breed and spread.