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Lynx: Frequently Asked Questions Answered

Since announcing our hopes for reintroducing the lynx to the UK, we've enjoyed a flood of questions from the general public about these cats and how they might fit in to the modern UK.

Most of the questions were unsurprising; how did the lynx disappear? What useful things does it do? What threat does it present to humans, livestock like sheep and domestic animals like cats and dogs?

With lynx resident across much of Europe and relatively well researched, following quite predictable patterns of behaviour, it's easy for us to draw some hypotheses on all these questions, and we produced a series of articles posted on social media platforms covering each of the most frequently asked questions in detail.

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 behaviour (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).

Below, you can find links (which will open in a new window) to the articles on our Facebook page; if you have a Facebook account and are logged in you can share them, like them and ask questions in the comments.

What happened to the British lynx, and why do we want to bring it back?
Looking at how the lynx fits into the British ecology, how it was forced out by man, and how bringing it back today can fix a problem we've dealt with for the last 1300 years.

Lynx, deer and rapid forest regeneration thanks to the fear factor and trophic cascades
Explaining just how can a handful of lynx can possibly have an effect on a 1m strong deer herd and the damage it does to British forests; the potential is amazing.

Are lynx a threat to humans? How are we different to any other prey?
Getting into the psychology of the lynx to see why we're off the menu, and get an idea of how our world looks to these wild predators.

Lynx and sheep predation; how big a problem is it and how can we prevent conflict?
Lynx are known to occasionally take sheep from farmers, but all signs are that impact is minimal and can be very easily compensated.

Lynx, pets, wildcats and other wildlife; is there any threat?
Looking at the ways lynx interact with other animals in the environment including dogs, cats and wildlife such as the endangered Scottish wildcat (several members of our team also work on conservation of the Scottish wildcat with Scottish Wildcat Haven; well worth a visit!).

Where will the lynx come from?
Explaining our plans for the actual cats that could be reintroduced here; where we'll be bringing them to the UK from, and how that process rolls out.

Questions and answers about the Eurasian lynx and UK reintroduction

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