Wolf reintroduction in the UK.

MJ75

Well-Known Member
#1
I confess the subject fascinates me. I’d love to see wolves (And other species reintroduced back into the UK). But is it plain fantasy? Or is it a real genuine possibility?

What do you think? Are there suitable areas where wolves could be reintroduced. Realistically I believe the more remote parts of Scotland are the only real option. If they were, how would you feel? Would you feel safe? Would you object knowing they could be roaming on an area where you stalk? Would you be worried how they may affect your management plans? Would you be tempted to shoot one given the opportunity? And admit it! Would you expect other stalkers or farmers to shoot at one given the chance?

Is it feasible in this day and age to reintroduce a species that has been absent for well over a century? Or are we as a species simply so arrogant that we simply won’t tolerate anything that poses a threat to our food chain?

Do we care that it is highly likely that the wolves would choose to predate on sheep rather than deer resulting in financial loss to the farmers? Or do you feel that they receive so many subsidies anyway, it doesn’t matter to us?

I look forward to your comments.

Jared
 
S

ssgpiv

Guest
#2
Good Morning MJ75. I have no problem with the concept of the re-introduction of a species. I am for instance in favour of allowing wild boar to continue to thrive in this country. I would however as an owner of a small flock of sheep of about 250 animals like to tell you that there is no money in sheep farming. They are very labour intensive, die at the drop of a hat, and worth about £40 after six months hard work. I would'nt mind losing a few to wolves as long as those that wanted to re-introduce them were happy to compensate for it. (it would'nt cost much) :cry:
 

The Mole

Well-Known Member
#3
Mixed views - I'm still waiting for one of the reintroduction supporters to prove that wolves would rather chase fit, fast moving deer rather than slow, stupid, easy to catch wooly maggots.

I think I know the answer, mind. Which is the main reason that man decided to eradicate wolves from this country in the first place.
 

MJ75

Well-Known Member
#4
I think it's quite certain that a wolf pack would choose to run down a 10mph sheep rather than a 30mph deer!

I also think that a compensation scheme for sheep farmers would be a must. How you stop it from being abused I don't know. Nor do I know how much work the sheep farmers would be prepared to do in order to claim compensation?

SSGPIV I understand what you're saying. I wonder if other farmers would be as understanding as yourself?
 

techman

Well-Known Member
#5
Wolf Reintroduction

MJ75, Sorry to throw my spanner in. My feelings are that If we don't have it we don't need it. Boar are already here and probably to stay, but Wolves Beaver and Bear, why? A slaughter house is a pretty horrible place to end life but IMHO probably better than being torn to bits.
 

sikamalc

Administrator
Site Staff
#6
MJ75.
These questions are being asked by a number of people in a corner of Scotland. Although I am not involved with any schemes, I can infrom you that one of my major leases backs right up to and borders a certain estate in Sutherland Scotland,that is owned by Mr Lister, who has been in the news over the last few years regarding his plans to re introduce extinct animals back to the UK, including the re introduction of Wolves to the Highlands.

The idea that Wolves will roam freely across the Highlands and other remote areas of the UK is to me a romantic vision. The last Wolf was killed near Brora in Scotland about 1780 or thereabouts I think. In this small and over populated country there is not the room for packs of Wolves to roam freely. Many Scottish Estates are fenced off from each other, sheep and other livestock are in greater numbers where they ever used to be many years ago, and outdoor pursuits with people walking, mountain biking etc are common place. plus in Scotland they have the right to roam.

Even the estate in question has still to get permission to release Wolves. I was present at one of the first open meetings to take place on the estate. A discussion took place in which the estate proposed fencing the entire estate. This bought in the question of access and the right to roam? plus on a 22,000 plus acre estate rising to 3000ft it would cost a fortune to ring fence the entire area. One of the panel from South Africa ran a fenced area which had Lions introduced to it, and he tried to convince the gathering of local shepherds, crofters, stalkers etc that they had never had any escapees. I pointed out to the gentleman that may be the case, but for a few schillings a week local people would patrol the fence and make good repairs, whilst up in the highlands the terrain did not make this easy and unlike South Africa you do not get 6ft snow drifts aginst a fence at 3000ft, which would enable the Wolves or nay other creature access to the outside world!!
Ahh replied we intend on radio collar them!! Hmmm said I, I am sure that makes everyone here happy knowing where the pack of Wolves are whilst there flock is being eaten.

I am very much in favour of re introducing European Beaver and I know there are pilot schemes already underway in the UK, and other worthy projects such as Capercaille and Black Grouse, plus re planting of native Caledonian forest trees. Wolves NO, as much as I would like to see them back, the UK has now too many people, traffic and roads to cope with wolves running around. can you imagine the publics reaction when told that Wolves were running wild in the local countryside? the compensation payed to farmers who are already struggling.

As much as I like Wolves and think they are magnificent animals, I do not think trying to turn the clock back and re introduce them into the UK is a good and worthwhile idea. The money could be Better spent protecting what we have got left.
 

Drew

Well-Known Member
#7
I'm with Malc. Much as I would love to see them.

Before van Vlissingen died there was talk of wolves on Letterewe too. Even though this area is huge, as soon as they create a food vacuum, they'd be on the move and a days smart trot takes them to much more sheep ridden areas.

Did I read somehwere that Mr Lister has taken delivery of the first Eurpean Elk (Alces alces)?
 

MJ75

Well-Known Member
#8
Drew said:
I'm with Malc. Much as I would love to see them.

Before van Vlissingen died there was talk of wolves on Letterewe too. Even though this area is huge, as soon as they create a food vacuum, they'd be on the move and a days smart trot takes them to much more sheep ridden areas.

Did I read somehwere that Mr Lister has taken delivery of the first Eurpean Elk (Alces alces)?
Is a "European Elk" also known as a moose in North America? I believe North American Elk are the same species as our red deer?

MJ
 

stone

Well-Known Member
#10
wolves back in the wilds of scotland again :???:
atleast it would be another species to hunt :lol:
yes it might be exciting to reintroduce wolves but the devastation it could cause to sheep farmers, our ever decreasing population of capercailie .
like all caged or fenced in mammals/animals they will escape but do we really need a wolf left to manage our deer when there are so many stalkers out there willing to pay for the oppurtunity that the wolf will get for free that does not seem fair:D
 

poddle

Well-Known Member
#11
You have to have a licence to keep wolf, as it is a dangerous animal.
Would this still be the case if they were running wild like foxes?

They tried a release scheme in North America, and all went well until a calf was killed. The government responded by killing four wolves from the pack just a few days later.

Would it be any different here? An expensive dream I think, and maybe dangerous.
Just ask Little Red Riding Hood
 

sikamalc

Administrator
Site Staff
#12
Drew, is David Alinson still the stalker on Letterewe?

MJ75 I would not swear to it but I think the Elk that Mr Lister has are the North American Elk (not Moose) if this is the case, it makes rather a mockery of introducing extinct species as they were never here in the first place. He has also had a scorched earth policy on Sika deer on the estate, and wants rid of them in the whole area :lol: :lol: No chance of that I am afraid, in over 100 years the FC and other bodies have never managed it, besides which the surrounding estates have got plenty of them, including my place.

One does not hear to much information these days coming from the estate, as those that work there have been told to keep to themselves about everything that goes on. Great shame really as it used to be one of the premier stalking estates in the area, taking I believe 100 stags and 300 hinds. Not anymore!!
 

Andy L

Well-Known Member
#13
I think that the problem with reintroducing extinct species back into the UK is that, while they have been extinct the UK population has changed, both in number and in lifestyle. Farmers are more in control of there stocks (they have to be to make money) and the general public is busy using every square inch of ground that it can gain access to.
I would love to see that beaver or wolf running wild again but it is never going to happen or if it does it will not last. Take the beaver for instance, we have now built on many flood plains and the reason that many floods happen is due to the trash in our rivers. Add a few more trash dams along the way and we will all be living in boats!!
Nice idea though!
 

sikamalc

Administrator
Site Staff
#14
AndyL. There are a few places experimenting with European Beaver, as they do not build huge lodges (dams) like their North American cousins.

One estate in Scotland has a small family group on a Loch, and they are breeding. There are also a couple of places in England as well that I have heard of. In theory they can do no real harm, unlike a large pack of carnivores which as you and I so rightly agree on, that it is not practicle in this small and rather overcrowded part of the world.
 

Dickie

Well-Known Member
#15
I was at a presentation about this in the summer and the man from the release site was totally tied in knots by a bloke who really new his onions on wolves and asked about the provisions for when the packs expand then form splinter pack he didn't really have an answer.
 

Drew

Well-Known Member
#18
Just done a bit of browsing:

European Elk - Alces alces
The European Elk (also known as Moose) is by far the largest deer species, with tallest animals standing 7.8ft at the shoulder. Their palmated antlers, sometimes described as "paddles", are massive, stretching to 6'6" across in some cases.

They have large bulbous noses that fall over the muzzle and are used as a miniature trunk. They are normally most active at dawn and dusk relying on acute hearing and sense of smell as their eyesight is poorly developed. They are prolific feeders needing to consume around 10kg of food a day!

At Alladale, plans are well developed to import three young females and one male from Norway in early spring, 2007. In July 2006, Professor Olav Rosef from Norway visited Alladale to study the environment in the trial 400 hectare enclosure and to collect tick samples for disease analysis in his laboratory. It is his recommendation that we import very young animals to avoid any undue stress that adults might face during transport and so that they can be effectively trained to respect our 2 metre-high fence that has been woven to our own design.
Phew!

Source: www.alladale.com
 

sikamalc

Administrator
Site Staff
#19
Ahhh then I was wrong Drew. Not for the first time I might add :oops:

God knows where he has put them on Alladale, I know the estate and have stalked it a few times and used their larder for about 8 years when we had another lease that backed onto it. I have hunted Elk in Finland twice, and they require thick cover. Not much of that on Alladale I can tell you.

Even though they are European Elk, I am still unsure about their being in the UK in the past. And a European Elk would be hard pushed to have a spread over 6ft across :eek: Thats more Canadian style to me.

Oh well lets hope they dont get onto my lease, I will need more than my quad to drag one out :lol: :lol: and I think the larder roof might be a bit low :rolleyes:
 

sikamalc

Administrator
Site Staff
#20
Thanks AndyL. Yes you are right, International Beaver can be very good, especially the Scandinavian type, which I believe is where most of it has come from for restocking. ;)
 

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