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Reintroduce Lynx? Fine, But First We Must Control The Real Apex Predator

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Repost from my article featured on IFLScience
March 11, 2015 | by Niki Rust



photo credit: Coming to a forest near you? lynx image via www.shutterstock.co,uk Share on facebook

The lynx: a short-tailed felid weighing up to six times more than your domestic moggy. This large carnivore once roamed the British Isles 1,300 years ago but, due to habitat destruction, overhunting of its prey and purposeful killing by humans, the species was driven to extinction in the UK. Now, there are plans to reintroduce this species to three sites in England and Scotland. But what are the chances of a success?

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has strict guidelines for reintroducing species into the wild. One of the key recommendations they make is that the main causes of the historical decline must be addressed to ensure success of the reintroduction.

In terms of the threats to lynx, we now have stringent land management policies in place so it is unlikely that the cat’s preferred fore…