Throughout 2021, the Lynx to Scotland partners carried out a comprehensive study across the Cairngorms and Argyll, to accurately evaluate the social feasibility of returning lynx to Scotland.
The study revealed wide-ranging perspectives from a diverse range of rural stakeholders, including farmers, gamekeepers, foresters, conservationists, landowners, tourism operators and rural communities. The study showed that views about lynx reintroduction are far more diverse, nuanced and complex than a simple ‘for’ and ‘against’.
Five different broad perspectives were identified from those who considered Scotland ready for lynx to those who are firmly opposed, while other contributors were either not yet convinced or felt that Scotland was not yet ready.
- Lynx for change – We are ready for lynx, and lynx is part of the change we need
- No to Lynx – There is no need for lynx, and we don’t want them back
- Scotland is not ready – We support the conversation, but Scotland is not ready
- We are not convinced – We are open to discussing lynx reintroduction, but it must be better justified
- Lynx for the economy – We should reintroduce missing species; lynx will be a boon for local economies
The Lynx to Scotland study showed a consensus for the establishment of a cross-sector Lynx Action Group to further explore the benefits and barriers to lynx reintroduction; to build trust between various stakeholders and to address areas of disagreement over science and local knowledge. The Lynx Action Group will be set up during the course of 2022.