More news comes on wolves, moose and the like returning to our shores for reintroduction as former native species. Paul Lister, a Scottish-based businessman with a 23,000 acre estate in the wilds of Sutherland has received a licence to enable the first part of a project which will eventually see him install a 37 mile electric stock fence with a view to releasing species that formerly were widespread.

Initially 500 acres will be set aside for the reintroduction of wild boar. The plan is eventually to achieve the reintroduction of such lost species as the European Moose (Elk), the lynx, the grey wolf, beaver, wild boar and even the bear and Mr. Lister hopes that other estates will join in this enterprise which hopes to provide as many as 100 jobs directly and which it is hoped will also produce other indirect economic benefits from tourism.

I have recently blogged on the topic (HERE) and, quite apart from being a romantic at heart over such things, can see some clear ecological benefits to such a scheme. Inevitably there are downsides to it, not least of which will be the innate conservatism of the hill farmers who will look askance at the presence of wolves near their sheep. But given the vast excess of red deer in Scotland over that which is really sustainable and the very serious economic damage they do, the time must surely come when reintroducing the wolf, without which there is little point to the scheme, must surely come and we shall have to accept the swings and roundabouts that that produces in economic terms. We already heavily support the hill farmers financially through various subsidy schemes, so paying for a few dead sheep will not be painful.

The Scotsman has a fuller report than I can give and it is HERE.

See also http://www.treesforlife.org.uk/tfl.eb.html

http://www.scotsbeavers.org/

http://www.wolftrust.org.uk/

http://www.wolvesandhumans.org/wolf_reintroduction_scotland.htm

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