A consortium of conservationists that hopes to release wild lynx into the Scottish Highlands has launched a year-long study to see whether the public supports their reintroduction. The study, part-funded by two billionaire Danish estate owners in the Highlands, Anders Povlsen and Lisbet Rausing, will test whether farmers, landowners and rural communities will agree to a pilot project in a remote area of Scotland . The lynx, Europe’s largest native cat, became extinct in northern Britain more than 500 years ago through habitat loss, hunting and persecution, but proposals by other rewilding advocates to reintroduce the species into the UK have foundered. Conservationists believe the new project, run by the Vincent Wildlife Trust and Trees for Life, alongside campaigners at Scotland: The Big Picture, has a significant chance of success. Pete Cairns, the director of Scotland: The Big Picture, said: “Our role is to get the process moving, to pick up the baton in a meaningful way. There have been several studies to assess the ecological feasibility of bringing back lynx; that’s the easy bit in many ways. “The question with a large predator is less about science and more about people’s attitudes, beliefs and priorities. A prerequisite for […]

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