Wolves have been absent from Scotland for more than 250 years

In an effort to change the behavior of red deer in Scotland so that the ecosystem can recover from their overgrazing, researchers are recommending wolf reintroduction to an island or major fenced area to see how the land, vegetation and other inhabitants respond.

Wolf reintroduction proposed in Scottish Highland test case
Science Codex

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Ken Cole

Ken Cole, Buffalo Field Campaign's Executive Director, is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He was formerly the Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project.

8 Responses to Wolf reintroduction proposed in Scottish Highland test case

  1. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Interesting study and theory. Maybe this can convince other places in Europe to accept wolves if it is successful.

  2. avatar Atlas says:

    That’s great Scotland is doing well with reintroduction! Beavers were reintroduced in June

  3. avatar Chris Harbin says:

    A few years ago we went to Yellowstone to take one of the Yellowstone Association’s Wolf watching classes. There we met an older couple that are members of the UK Wolf Trust. They were very enthusiastic about the idea of wolf reintroduction in this area and were convinced (as well as convincing) that it would work. However, they were less certain on how long it would take to get wolves on the ground and which wolves to work with.
    Best of all, we switched baseball caps. We gave them Sinapu’s caps in exchange for UK Wolf Trust caps.

    Note: They were also very much against the hunting of foxes etc. with dogs.

  4. My best wishes for this ambitious project. This will however be a (albeit very large) fenced in area! This means no confrontation with people, traffic, sheep, hunters and poachers. Confined to an enclosure, zoo-like, they will be easily accepted by the public. And that´s the big difference compared to the “real” wolf areas over continental Europe, where wolves romp free.

  5. avatar jdubya says:

    I’ll be looking forward to a bottle of single malt with a wolf head on the label.

  6. avatar mikepost says:

    Scotland’s ag industry is predominantly sheep. In addition there is very little “public” land in the sense that we are used to in the US nor do they have the same “wildlife as a public resource” mentality. However this turns out (and it could be quite messy), there will be little or no correlation with US wolf or elk issues.

  7. avatar Atlas says:

    Scotland has a terrible problem with red deer/elk which extends 300000 that are confined to a small area. If it’s a fenced in area instead of an island it most likely won’t anything like zoo.

  8. If you google around for this project you soon find out that they still have a very, very long way to go. The aim of this proposal (and it is currently nothing more than a proposal) is to establish a fenced in test site to study for scientific purposes the impact of predators on the deer population. No roadmap with a timeframe or a rough idea how this proposal could be financed is currently published. Remember, you need a large area fenced in with a sturdy concrete/iron/wood fence! This will cost some money. The whole thing has nothing to do with a “wolf re-introduction”. So enthusiasm should calm down a bit. An – on the long run – interresting aspect is mentioned on the wolf trust pages: “SNH (The government´s conservation agency) rely on the goodwill of landowners and farmers to further their conservation achievements. Landowners and farmers are few in number but control most of the land in Britain. For example, about half the land in the Scottish Highlands is owned by only about 100 people Thus even just a few landowners and sheep farmers can be influential and Scottish Natural Heritage would not want to upset them for the sake of a single species”. We will not see a wolf romp free in the Highlands.

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