Large predator reintroduction

Tuesday 21 January 2014, 20:09

Tim Scoones Tim Scoones Excecutive Producer Springwatch

On Tuesday night's Winterwatch we showed a film that painted a picture of what the UK may have been like when it was covered in ancient forest, including the presence of large predators such as lynx, wolf and bears.

These large predators are long gone... though here at Mar Lodge there were wolves as recently as the 17th Century.

Some people talk about bringing them back, and some European countries have run pilot studies to do just that.

We know that this idea always prompts an interesting debate among our audience, so do use the Comments button below to let us know what you think. 

Could - or should - we re-introduce any of our ancient woodland large predators back to the UK?

As ever, we ask you to please respect the opinions of others.


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    Comment number 60.

    Please, please can we get some presenters who deal with the subject seriously? These clowns are unbearable for anyone with an intelligent interest in wildlife Get rid of Packham, Strachan and H-Games, they are truly dreadful. Thanks

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    Not the best idea! The introduction of large predictors to the uk is irresponsible . I'm an avid lover of the great outdoors, not just the uk and believe that this romantic idea will close much of our wilderness to novice and regular wilderness seekers alike. Having spend many nights under the stars in Canada I have been exposed to a number of unpleasant encounters. In Canada this is part of the course and the carriage of weaponry for protection is common place. I do not wish this for the uk. The uk is one of the few places in the world where true wilderness lovers can explore without fear.The UK wilderness is for everyone not just romantic TV presenters

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    Comment number 24.

    The uk has survived quite well for many years without large predictors , long May it continue. It's the bigger picture I'm interested in, groups of individuals with weapons roaming the countryside under the guise of protection! who culls the predictors ? If the deer need culling then cull them. Introduce wolves and bears then there will be a need to cull them .So it goes on. All this for someone's romantic idea of how the perfect world should be. Stop interfering and enjoy what we have

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    Comment number 66.

    If the scottish highlands are so suited to the re-introduction of lynx then why are our current wildcats not flourishing? Surely if the habitat and prey species are present then their should be scottish wildcats all over the highlands? Lynx eat small deer, got that, but im sure as a cat they also love eating birds so what damage will they do to the capercaille and black grouse population? As for wolves, if they only kill the weak/sick/injured etc then how will this reduce the deer population, thousands of healthy deer are culled annually to keep deer numbers in check only a small proportion of them are sick/weak/injured. Wolves will undoubtably kill livestock so give farmers compensation? if money is available for compensation then spend it on rifles and bullets. how many wolves would you need to kill 70,000 red deer a year and this would only keep the numbers in check, not reduce them! The argument that nature finds its own way is true but to me natures way is boom or bust/ feast or famine and starvation becomes the key element in controlling numbers. If people believe in not interfering with nature then why rescue over 100 seal pups separated from there mothers by the recent storms, they should have been left to die as thats natures way of controlling numbers. Also how can the bbc get away with putting cameras up at eagle roosting sites and in the middle of black cock leks, surely this causes unnecessary disturbance to rare wildlife, no?

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    Comment number 97.

    @scotishwildlifewatcher. I do understand the echo system of which man is the top predator, with the introduction of these predators comes a protection order against the top predator from hunting them and protecting their live stock and grouse moors, when these predators roamed our island there was no where near the amount of humans in Britain not many built up areas for the predators to stray in to and get a easy meal be it a child,adult,pet or livestock, we are only a small island so the predators unchecked would run riot we have hunting laws forced on us, they won't because the dogooders want to play god,

    Answer me this if a pet dog go's into a field of sheep the law says the farmer can shoot it to protect them,this law is correct will he be able to do it if a lynx or wolves do it ? I very much doubt it.. as the gamekeeper cannot protect his grouse,partridge and pheasants from the introduced raptors


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