At what point does a species become a native species? That’s a question that’s been floating around in my mind with increasing frequency today – but does it have a definitive answer? And if not, does that really matter? The Brown Hare, for example, was introduced to Britain 2000 years ago, but many people think of them as indigenous wildlife and an iconic component of the British countryside. Fallow Deer were also brought over by the Romans around this time, yet endear themselves to many in the country. But then you have the Grey Squirrel: brought across the pond from the Eastern United States during the 1870s and demonised, justifiably, by most as an invasive species requiring eradication at a cost of many millions of pounds.
Continue reading Native State
Encouraging to hear that rewilding-related initiatives across Europe are having a beneficial effect on the numbers of apex predators in numerous countries, where until recently they were either an extreme rarity or a distant memory. Over 50 biologists contributed to the study, which was published recently in the Science journal. The research showed that populations of these three carnivores, as well as the Wolverine, were either stable or increasing on the continent. The paper cited reasons for this included, protective legislation, an increase in public support for the reintroduction of these animals and a variety of measures implemented to ensure coexistence between the creatures and people caused minimal conflict.
Continue reading LYNX, WOLF AND BROWN BEAR POPULATIONS INCREASE IN EUROPE
The video above is of a talk given by George Monbiot- one of the Rewilding movement’s most vocal and well-informed supporters. His thoughts encapsulate this relatively new concept and make a compelling case for the reintroduction of forgotten fauna into our wildernesses. It is a hot topic just now in the United Kingdom. I would personally relish the prospect of seeing the highlands of Scotland for instance reforested and welcome back wildlife such as Eurasian Lynx, Wolf, Wolverine and Wild Boar. Just look at mainland Europe and the biodiversity of primeval forests in countries such as Croatia, Poland and Romania where the landscape has been allowed to naturally develop without human interference.
The Infrastructure Bill proposes to reclassify extinct species as non-native and place them under the same controls as foreign invasive animals are currently subject to, such as the Mink and Grey Squirrel. It is an issue that will undoubtedly stir up strong feelings as news of the bill filters beyond the confines of Westminster. If the legislation is passed, it will come at a time when public support for the re-establishment of extinct species is growing. The first fruits of this policy are already evident with the news that Devon’s recently discovered wild Beavers look set to be captured and placed in captivity, despite a public petition being signed by hundreds of people asking for them to be left in the wild.
Continue reading NEW UK GOVERNMENT LEGISLATION SET TO PREVENT THE REINTRODUCTION OF WILDLIFE