View Full Version : Bear Wolves and Lynx in Scotland
Hawkeye The Noo
On the Scottish news last night there was talk by a land owner above Inverness about having a safari style area to recreate old Caledonia in wild life. Does anybody know any more details about this? This would be great for trackers to get this sort of experience without having to travel abroad as much. Remember certification of tracking ability improves credibility when applying for access to tracking in areas like this.
I saw this on the local news as well which made my ears prick up. What I could gather was the landowner (Ardgay) wanted to introduce wolves onto this estate in order to manage the red deer population, never mind the the rest of the ark his wishes to introduce. This obviously has draw backs in relation to the demographics of animal populations. Would be an interesting idea all the same and am sure it has been blown out of prospective (local fears).
Here the extract of the article taken from the Scotsman...
"Vision of wild bears and wolves on Highland estate moves closer
PLANS for the first phase of a pioneering project that would see wolves, bears and lynx return to a Highland estate will be put forward within weeks, The Scotsman has learned.
Paul Lister, owner of the Alladale Estate in Sutherland, wants to create a 50,000-acre fenced wildlife reserve to include some animals not seen in Scotland for hundreds of years.
He will outline his vision at a public meeting in Ardgay on 15 September. If the reaction is favourable, proposals for a 7,000-acre trial enclosure with wild boar, moose and red deer, will be submitted shortly afterwards.
His long-term plan, which could take three to ten years, is to restore the original Highland ecosystem in a managed wilderness area.
This would involve replanting trees to restore part of the ancient Caledonian forest with deer culled by natural predators.
To help pay for the project he would open a commercial reserve for tourists. This, he says, would attract more than 700 people a week and create 75-100 jobs.
Visitors would be ferried from an education centre in Ardgay and taken on a 30-mile safari around the estate.
However the plan has already concerned walkers and conservation bodies.
Mr Lister told The Scotsman Alladale could benefit from the eco-tourism market which attracts thousands to Romania and fenced reserves like Shamwari in South Africa.
"People travel thousands of miles to Africa to see animals. There are hundreds of reserves there and not one of what I call a fenced, controlled wildlife reserve in the northern hemisphere."
Andrew Harding, the project manager, said: "It's not about showcasing animals to large numbers of people. It's primarily an environmental and ecological programme which incorporates a number of key species."
Initially the project would see three to four moose and about 20 wild boar installed in an enclosure. If accepted, the main reserve would have 10-15 wolves, 20-30 bears, 100 boar, 20-30 moose and more than 50 deer. The animals would be satellite tagged and their movements tracked on screens.
Mr Lister said: "The animals will have a huge area to move around in. It's not like a zoo where animals are under pressure. This is going to be animals acting very differently, more naturally."
He said he has had no negative comments from the community so far. "We are never going to keep everyone happy. It will not be unanimous because some people already have their minds so fixed on certain things."
Dave Morris, of Ramblers Scotland, said there was potentially a lot of support for the idea, but added: "However, the scheme he has come forward with is a giant zoo. A huge fence would also have major landscape impact."
He said there was concern over its impact on access. "Parliament's intention when passing the legislation was to support the principle of people having freedom of access to go over this sort of land and not be constrained in the way they would be under this type of scheme."
Mr Morris fears Alladale could be turned into an exclusive reserve for rich tourists.
Prof Colin Galbraith, SNH's director of science, questioned how wild or natural the animals would be in a fenced enclosure. "
"Under current law these animals would not be wild if fences are there. It would be a big safari park or a zoo."
I agree with the idea of reintorduction of wolves, bears, etc.. My only concern is that there could be ulterior motives behind this. If these animals are roaming free, wouldn't they be game animals, and as such, couldn't the land owner charge huge sums of cash to allow (rich) people to hunt them on his land?
I'm not saying that these are the guy's motives, just that they could be, or perhaps, other landowners might start introducing animals with these motives.
Yeah, I saw that report on Reporting Scotland last night too. It's an interesting idea, but I'd tend to give a lot of weight to the opinion of that old geezer (not sure if he was a gamie, but he looked the part) who reckoned that the habitat available was inappropriate. He looked like he was old enough to remember when these animals were roaming wild... ;)
Plus I'm not too sure that I want to have to worry about bears. Wolves, fair enough, but bears scare me.
there was a very long thread on this a while ago with much interesting discussion, i would have thought this is the same area, its owned i believe by the son of the guy who owns MFI or some such place..
there was a very interesting article in this months 'countryman' magazine on re-introduction in general, i will copy it in later if i cant find a copy online!
FOUND IT :D :D
very good article i think!
i cant find the old thread on this as it was a very long time ago.. if anyone knows where it is please pass on the link!
You're right Tom, it's been talked about here before...but in two other threads not just one!!! lol
Here they are: