For the first time in over 1,000 years, the lynx could be reintroduced to the wilderness of the British Isles.

Lynx Trust UK has submitted a permit to Natural England – the nation’s governmental department for environmental issues – for a 5-year trial run of the species’ reintroduction. If approved, the organization could be granted permission to release 6 to 10 lynx into Kielder Forest in Northumberland.

The organization says that while lynx were native to the area, records show that they may have been hunted into extinction by early settles. Because the native wildcats have been absent from England’s ecosystem for so many centuries, there has been a massive overpopulation of deer in the region.

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Lynx Trust UK believes that by reintroducing the wildcats to the area, their diet will primarily consist of deer, rather than local livestock. However, conservationists say that farmers will be compensated for any sheep or cattle that are harmed by lynx.

The Lynx UK Trust website states: “Of course, predicting precisely how lynx will live here is impossible, and the reason why a trial, monitored in great detail, is so important, however it can also be said that the lynx is extremely consistent in most things, and we expect to only see minor variances in behavior (for example, we expect relatively small territories with a relatively high proportion of deer in diet, because of the high density of deer in the UK).

Additionally, the lynx reintroduction could bring in millions of dollars worth of tourism for local businesses.

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  1. If the lynx were the apex predator of the region, they may find other benefits for reintroducing the lynx.

    I know when wolves have been reintroduced into area they have found benefits in not only the animal populations but the flora too. Meadows and trees benefit, fish populations return or grow healthier.

    It is one giant cycle we can’t begin to understand. Nature doesn’t make mistakes and there are consequences for throwing it out of balance by removing a predator.

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