The Lynx UK Trust CIC was formed in 2014 by a group of experienced conservationists and scientists with specialisations in wild felines, genetics, field research, reintroductions and education, who have worked on conservation projects worldwide.
Since the Trust’s formation, the team has grown and now includes many experts and volunteers. We work alongside a number of partners, creating a multi-disciplinary team to help us deliver this ambitious project contributing towards the overall health of UK wildlife.
Apex predators such as Eurasian lynx play a crucial role in promoting forest regeneration and biodiversity by controlling deer numbers. However, the Eurasian lynx was hunted to extinction in the UK 1,300 years ago, and without this vital species we now have a huge overpopulation of deer. With too many deer overgrazing and preventing natural forest regeneration, the biodiversity of our woodlands is suffering alongside many UK wildlife species.
In fact, according to the 2019 State of Nature Report, the UK is now one of the most impoverished countries in the world in terms of biodiversity. As well as a moral obligation to right the wrong of exterminating lynx in the first place, the return of this big cat will breathe life into the UK’s damaged ecosystems, and will help with climate change mitigation by promoting forest regeneration.
Lynx are what is known as a keystone species. These are animals which have a massive affect on their ecosystem, and removing them upsets the balance, causing untold damage. Head to our video hub to watch a short film on the impact a reintroduced group of lynx could have on their forest home, as well as examples of other conservation projects involving Eurasian lynx.
We are working towards a 5 year trial reintroduction of the Eurasian lynx to two specially selected sites in the UK. Sourced from populations in northern Europe, a small number of lynx will be transported to the UK and fitted with state-of-the-art GPS collars so that we will know where each individual is 24 hours a day. Once released, our team will monitor not just the lynx, but their impact on local UK wildlife, ecology and communities as well.
Currently, we are working with a team of expert ecologists and conservationists to build up to our second license application. Our first application was rejected; an entirely expected outcome given that the reintroduction of other species, such as beavers, took several license applications before permission was granted.
We have addressed the comments that we received on the first application, and are now preparing to resubmit in 2020. With your help, we are confident of a positive outcome. There is no time to waste: the UK needs lynx back now.
Our achievements so far include:
· Driving forward the agenda for bringing Eurasian lynx back to the UK
· Educating millions of people about the importance of lynx returning to the UK
· Featuring on BBC Breakfast News, The One Show, and numerous other news programmes both in the UK and overseas
· Carrying out the UK’s largest species reintroduction public survey. We received over 9,500 responses, with a 92.8% public approval rating for the reintroduction of lynx
· Conducting the first ever national stakeholder meeting on lynx reintroduction
· Consulting with over 150 stakeholder organisations
· Carrying out local consultation events in suitable reintroduction sites
· Delivering a school education programme about lynx and the importance of conservation
· Giving talks all over the UK to various interest groups
· Carrying out detailed ecological assessments of potential reintroduction sites across the UK
· Being invited to Westminster to meet the Secretary of State to discuss our plans for lynx reintroduction
· Submitting the first ever license application for reintroducing lynx to the UK