vidarh 44 days ago [-]
It's worth noting, with respect to the advice from Norwegian farmers, that Norwegian farmers have an incentive to push for high estimates of predation over other causes of loss, as they get compensation for loss due to predators.

That's not to say they don't lose animals to predators, but the estimates of the actual numbers have been fought over in Norway for decades.

nix23 44 days ago [-]
It's really not a big problem, Switzerland is much smaller and we have 140-180 lynx, around 80 Wolves and some Brown bears. Yes they are some losses, but with herd dogs not allot.
vidarh 43 days ago [-]
Part of the issue in Norway is that the sheep are not actively herded most of the summer. They get checked on now and again, but not continuously. The farmers basically want to avoid the cost by pushing up the proportion of losses that are due to predators that they get compensation for.
canadianfella 43 days ago [-]
there are A lot
perbu 44 days ago [-]
It is also worth noting that far more sheep die of sickness/exposure than the few that are taken by predators.

IIRC 100k sheep are lost and 20k of those are to predators.

TheOtherHobbes 44 days ago [-]
Lynx are extremely photogenic, but I can't help wondering - why? They're not endangered, they are aggressive predators, and Scotland's ecology isn't obviously in need of them. The fact that they were common half a millennium ago when the ecosystem was very different doesn't seem particularly relevant.

So if this is just for tourism and/or as a vanity project and there are no solid ecological or scientific reasons, I'm not seeing a convincing justification for this.

theptip 44 days ago [-]
> and Scotland's ecology isn't obviously in need of them.

If you've visited Scotland's countryside, you might have noticed the sweeping vistas of grassy green fields, yellow bushy marshes, and purple heather -- and a conspicuous absence of any trees. It's a very unnatural landscape, historically speaking.

Scotland (along with the rest of the UK) cut down most of their old growth forests in the industrial revolution, and also eliminated all of the large predators. As a result, the wild deer population is out of control, and even with management (read: stalking wild deer) there are so many deer that it's impossible to simply plant trees and have them reforest; deer will eat and destroy the saplings before they can mature.

This arrests the natural reforestation that would occur over time, and makes even managed projects expensive -- for example here's a charity that is working on reforesting a plot of land in Scotland: https://bordersforesttrust.org/places/wild-heart/carrifran-w.... They had to hire someone to kill deer on their land to protect the new trees, even after expensive plastic casings.

That's a long-winded bit of context, but the summarized argument for re-introducing large predators is that they would help to control the damaging and out-of-balance wild deer population, reducing the amount of human intervention required, and allowing the countryside to revert back to its natural forested state.

rozab 44 days ago [-]
The Caledonian Forest disappeared long before the Industrial Revolution:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caledonian_Forest

>An examination of the earliest maps of Scotland suggests that the extent of the Caledonian Forest remnants has changed little since 1600.

ethbr0 44 days ago [-]
Be that as it may, the ancient world definitely went through a lot of trees, when they were the principle source of energy.

To put that in some perspective, a Roman legion (roughly 5,000 men) in the Late Republic might have carried into battle around 44,000kg (c. 48.5 tons) of iron – not counting pots, fittings, picks, shovels and other tools we know they used. That iron equipment in turn might represent the mining of around 541,200kg (c. 600 tons) of ore, smelted with 642,400kg (c. 710 tons) of charcoal, made from 4,620,000kg (c. 5,100 tons) of wood. Cutting the wood and making the charcoal alone, from our figures above, might represent something like (I am assuming our charcoal-burners are working in teams) 80,000 man-days of labor. For one legion. https://acoup.blog/2020/09/25/collections-iron-how-did-they-...

Leherenn 44 days ago [-]
I think his point was that in Europe, most deforestation happened much earlier than the industrial revolution, and he wanted to clear the relatively common misconception that everything was green until the industrial revolution.
rozab 44 days ago [-]
Right! But as I understand it, most of this wood was from managed forest, which allowed for much more efficient harvesting and also allowed for controlling various qualities of the wood.

Lindybeige has a good video on the topic. It doesn't quite go back to Roman times though.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVPUFMwm73Y

ethbr0 44 days ago [-]
From same blog, who sourced, the impression I got was that medieval-period industrial activity featured more forest management, as it was private property / a resource.

In Roman times... We know, for instance, that Elba was almost totally deforested during the Roman period to fuel the bloomeries smelting the ore and Pliny notes in his Natural History that smelting (not always of iron) had substantially reduced forest-stocks in parts of Gaul and Campagnia. Roman iron production in the eastern High Weald of England may have deforested something like 500km2 over the course of three centuries and there is reason to believe that Roman-period iron production in this area stopped because of scarcity of fuel, rather than ore. Iron-working was hardly the only factor in the steady deforestation of Europe, but it was a major factor.

So apparently Roman-era metal production was sufficient to deforest isolated large islands, but probably not for mainland areas better able to reforest themselves.

ascorbic 44 days ago [-]
As with most of the forest in the UK, it was cut down for timber and then did not regrow because of deer. This has been happening for thousands of years.
HarryHirsch 44 days ago [-]
No surprise there, the bear became extinct in the British Isles by the 10th century.
peanut_merchant 44 days ago [-]
There is an excellent documentary that covers a broad range of perspectives on this issue called "The Cull - Scotland's deer dilemma" https://thecullfilm.com/

As someone born and raised in the highlands, I found it well balanced as well as providing a realistic depiction of the Highland winter.

jfk13 44 days ago [-]
Apparently the covid pandemic has exacerbated this issue, because a lot of wild venison goes to the restaurant trade, and that market pretty much disappeared. Result: more deer overpopulation and damage to ecosystems.
maxerickson 44 days ago [-]
Northern Michigan has lots of trees, but deer browsing has a big impact on what species regenerate (so for instance, there is little young cedar).

We have a few cougars and wolves and a pretty robust hunting season and it doesn't make much in the way of a difference.

sandworm101 44 days ago [-]
Deer, and rabbits. Lynx are designed to eat rabbits.
pacaro 44 days ago [-]
Lynx are native to Scotland, I don't believe that rabbits are, they are usually considered to have been introduced by the Normans in the 12th century. According to the wikipedia article the lynx appears to have a pretty varied diet
pvaldes 44 days ago [-]
In the case of eurasian lynx replace 'rabbit' by 'hare' and you got it. They eat also a lot of roe deer and maybe a few (very young) red deer.
Scarblac 44 days ago [-]
Why wouldn't rabbits be native? It's not so long ago that Great Britain was connected to mainland Europe, so I'd think that most of the same animals would be present both sides of the North Sea.
pacaro 43 days ago [-]
European Rabbits are native to the iberian peninsula and southern France, they were introduced to the British Isles either by the Romans or the Normans. There's more information about this on the Wikipedia article https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_rabbit
andrewflnr 44 days ago [-]
Lynx are not large predators. I can't see them making a dent in the deer population.

Ed: I stand corrected, I guess.

SllX 44 days ago [-]
Apparently they hunt and kill deer and reindeer in Finland.[1] I would have thought the same but seeing your comment prompted me to do a search. Found a handful of YouTube vids claiming the featured Lynx killed the deer they were recording, but none of the first 5 I checked featured a Lynx performing the kill, only the eating.

[1] http://www.largecarnivores.fi/species/lynx/lynxs-diet-and-hu...

maxerickson 44 days ago [-]
How much of the herd to they kill each year?

Google says there are 100,000 deer, 200,000 reindeer and ~1200 lynx. So there's enough that they could make a difference (but it matters a lot how often they would take a deer).

SllX 44 days ago [-]
Turns out we suck at engineering ecology: about the best we can do is introduce a wild population into conditions we think they’ll survive and let nature take its course. Prey and predators eventually reach their own sort of equilibrium if we leave them to it, absent factors which are severely detrimental to either.

And this isn’t a deer extermination project either: it’s a lynx reintroduction project.

brailsafe 44 days ago [-]
I thought sheep were the culprit here.
DonaldFisk 44 days ago [-]
"Something most be done. This is something. Therefore, this must be done." is a well-known logical fallacy.

Introducing non-native species can have unexpected consequences. Though lynxes do prey on deer, they also prey on birds and smaller mammals, which would put them in competition with Scottish wildcats, which are endangered. We can't be sure that introducing lynxes won't drive Scottish wildcats to extinction.

There are other solutions to the problem you mention. Deer can be shot and the venison sold in supermarkets and other outlets (restaurants, once COVID-19 is under control). This already happens, albeit on a small scale. Venison could also be exported but there's now a lot of extra paperwork which needs to be done now that we've left the EU.

eloff 44 days ago [-]
Lynx are native to Scotland. They're simply being reintroduced.
DonaldFisk 44 days ago [-]
Were native. About 500 years ago. Ecosystems change. Bears and wolves were also native to Scotland once but we'd think twice about reintroducing them.
rmah 44 days ago [-]
Why think twice? There are many many large predators in the US and we get along fine. The US outside of Alaska has thousands of wolves, 10's of thousands of mountain lions, 100's of thousands of bears, millions of crocodiles, millions of coyotes, etc... no major problems. And they're not just in the sparsely inhabited west, densely populated north-east states like NY, PA, NJ, MA, CT ,etc. have thousands of bears and coyotes (though admittedly not many wolves).
KMag 44 days ago [-]
My dad's back yard has a view of Lake Superior. A couple of times he has seen a black bear wander through his back yard, and he occasionally sees a wolf stalking some deer in his back yard.

He doesn't have a dog, but some of his neighbors sometimes have their dogs cower up to their owners during walks because they smell wolves. Supposedly some people have seen wolves stalking their dogs, but I haven't heard of dogs being killed by wolves in the area.

It's mostly safe for adults, but I wouldn't let a kid run around alone in my dad's yard, mostly for fear of the rapidly flowing small river, but also due to wolves and bears.

colechristensen 44 days ago [-]
In the US several regions have reintroduced or supported nearly extinct populations of wolves.
pvaldes 44 days ago [-]
There are alive trees in UK that are more than 500 years old. Think about it.
peteretep 44 days ago [-]
I have thought about it — on your advice — and it is entirely unclear what the actual point you’re making is
mNovak 44 days ago [-]
Deer seem to be a problem everywhere. In the US midwest they're all over the place.
jessaustin 44 days ago [-]
Crossbows are easy to use and don't alarm neighbors. Venison is delicious and nutritious. Butchering a deer is a fun and educational project for the whole family, and requires very little equipment: knives and a big table, plus a tree limb and some rope for the initial skinning. This is yet another problem that people could solve for themselves, if enough of them cared to do so.
peanut_merchant 44 days ago [-]
Most land in Scotland is owned by large estate owners (think castles and thousands of acres).

We have extremely strict gun control and hunting is usually limited to employees of the estates or visitors who have paid a hefty fee to hunt on the estate. Hunting here is much more controlled and limited than it is in North America or elsewhere.

Source: Highlands born and raised, live in Canada.

KMag 44 days ago [-]
I suppose that without much in the way of forests, bow hunting deer also isn't much of a thing in the highlands.
russholmes 44 days ago [-]
Bow hunting is illegal in the UK. Permitted firearms and ammunition are also regulated on animal cruelty grounds. http://www.thedeerinitiative.co.uk/uploads/guides/90.pdf
KMag 43 days ago [-]
Most US states also regulate which cartridges can be used on deer, also for animal cruelty reasons. Certainly Minnesota does.
chrisbennet 44 days ago [-]
I grew up eating deer and partridge (ruffed grouse) and in my opinion, they aren't delicious. They don't taste good because the have very little fat. (Moose do taste good for some reason.) To make deer hamburgers you have to add beef fat.

If you have eaten wild game that tasted good I suspect it was augmented in some way. We used have some sort of gravy or marinade on deer meat and pin some bacon on partridge.

"Gordon Ramsay Demonstrates How To Cook Venison With A Red Wine & Chocolate Sauce"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05Q_0tkHLxQ

jessaustin 44 days ago [-]
I haven't eaten partridge. Venison is low in fat, so it requires different techniques than beef or pork. Braising (even crock-potting) will work better than roasting or grilling. Frying, including stir-frying, also works well. To me these are simply different techniques, but those who consider gravy exotic might call them "augmentation". If one must roast, by all means do as Mr. Ramsay and fry first. I submit that his dish would have been better sous-vide, but the loin will be good as long as you don't burn it.
chrisbennet 44 days ago [-]
What I meant, it isn't inherently delicious like steak (IMO). You could probably make SPAM edible if you put enough other stuff with it.

BTW: To me, rabbit tastes like boiled chicken.

eloff 44 days ago [-]
> Butchering a deer is a fun and educational project for the whole family

I would find it gross and traumatic to the point where I might lose my lunch. I eat meat, but if I had to butcher my own meat I'd go vegetarian.

I like your solution though, I'm surprised that the market doesn't just solve the problem to the point where we're worried about there being too few deer - is hunting limited or is there not enough demand for venison?

hkarthik 44 days ago [-]
I suspect that hunting, field dressing, and butchering lost their mainstream appeal soon after industrialization.

It's one thing to do these things once a month on a hunting trip for leisure versus doing it nearly every week in order to maintain your property or community. It's like the difference between gardening as a hobby versus farming as a lifestyle.

The amount of hunting needed to control the deer population and the population of able bodied and sufficiently interested hunters simply doesn't scale properly in most communities.

Predators who hunt as their main purpose and niche in life seems like a more viable solution if we determine how to keep the livestock predation to an acceptable level.

SllX 44 days ago [-]
Do it enough and you’ll get desensitized.

> I'm surprised that the market doesn't just solve the problem to the point where we're worried about there being too few deer

The market has solved the problem of food: it is plentiful, cheap and varied. That has decreased the need to hunt to the point that most[1] of those who do so are making a lifestyle choice that is not strictly economical but does in some way provide a respectable and different experience or quality of life they enjoy.

[1] As always I feel compelled to remind people that “most” is not a synonym for “all”.

ThisIsTheWay 44 days ago [-]
> I eat meat, but if I had to butcher my own meat I'd go vegetarian.

I don't mean to be impolite or judgmental, but I'm wondering if can you share a bit more about how you're able to justify it when someone else is doing the dirty work? I too eat meat, and part of my desire to learn to hunt is to experience the full effect of it, from stalk, to kill, to cleaning, to plate. I've never cleaned anything larger than a redfish, but it's something I'm intensely curious about.

Bayart 44 days ago [-]
>I would find it gross and traumatic to the point where I might lose my lunch

That's just because you're not used to it. My grand-mother used to kill and butcher chickens, guinea hens and rabbits in front of me as a kid and I've been to quite a few post-hunting parties. It just doesn't move anymore.

NikolaeVarius 44 days ago [-]
Thats a side effect of a life sheltered from nature.

I'm a city boy, but I was sent to the countryside every once in a while to learn how to kill and butcher animals so I could respect what nature has given us.

stevekemp 44 days ago [-]
My grandparents owned/ran a farm, so I grew up in a city but spent my summer holidays there. I learned pretty early on that we don't give names to the animals.

That said I've no qualms about doing the "dirty work" myself, if necessary. I can't imagine how it ever would be, but I'm kinda grateful I got to see where meat, and to a lesser extent crops, come from. As well as appreciating exactly how much work it is.

Nowadays I have a small allotment for growing food, but I know damn well farming life is not for me. For fun at a tiny scale is interesting and rewarding. Doing it commercially is a hell of a lot of work. (Though I know nothing of the American-styled "super-farms" with all the automation.)

peteretep 44 days ago [-]
> is there not enough demand for venison

I mean if nothing else there’s value there in animal feed

pvaldes 43 days ago [-]
> Butchering a deer is a fun and educational project for the whole family

Yep, children will always remember with joy their first exposure to the marvels of Cephenemyia. Like catching apples in a barrel but a much more vibrating activity.

toomanybeersies 44 days ago [-]
I'm not sure how much experience you have with hunting, but deer stalking is hard, even more so with a crossbow instead of a rifle.

Not to mention the investment in time and money involved with hunting.

jessaustin 44 days ago [-]
I killed my first when I was 13. I have killed many with rifle and bow, from treestands and from the ground, in rural Missouri and Colorado. I replied to an observation about suburban Midwestern USA deer, which is a completely different thing. Deer that won't leave your yard can be killed with a crossbow shot from your back porch. I recommended a crossbow because they are legal in most states now during the lengthy bow seasons (a development to which I strenuously if foolishly objected), they aren't as disturbing to your neighbors, and they are safer to use in a suburban setting.

I certainly don't recommend anyone "stalk" across the denuded Scottish hills.

u678u 44 days ago [-]
North East as well, 100 years ago there were practically none, now they're common in most suburbs. Along with ticks and Lyme disease.
zabzonk 44 days ago [-]
At least in the US midwest there's lots of space for them. Several times in London UK I've been in a car that nearly hit one. See https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/mar/20/stags-in...
colechristensen 44 days ago [-]
Growing up in the midwest, if you didn’t hit a deer with a car yourself, you knew half a dozen people who did.
germinalphrase 44 days ago [-]
From the Midwest. I’ve hit - or been in cars that have hit - a half dozen deer in my thirty-five years on this planet.
s1artibartfast 44 days ago [-]
Tanks! long winded context is the best context
canadianfella 43 days ago [-]
Does stalking mean hunting?
pvaldes 44 days ago [-]
> They're not endangered, they are aggressive predators, and Scotland's ecology isn't obviously in need of them

Three falses in a row. First, Eurasian Lynx is so endangered in UK that is in fact locally extinct. You can't be more endangered than that. Moreover, Spanish lynx is still one of the most critically endangered mammals in the planet

Aggressive is relative. IMHO, a pack of wild dogs pursuing a zebra for a couple of miles (before to eat it in chunks while alive) is aggressive. Lynx are ambush predators that avoid humans.

UK ecology has several problems. One of this is the fever of introducing exotic game species and specially deer. Apart of roe and red are: fallow deer, chinese water deer, asian muntjac and japanese deer. All introduced by hunters. Their populations are increasing and trying to pack as many plant eaters as possible in absence of predators is a very bad idea. To add pressure to the unfortunate trees of Scotland there are also rabbits and zillions of cattle. This is blocking the regeneration of forests, keeping many areas deforested and eroded and severely reducing the populations of many bird species.

Must be also noted that deer can be also dangerous for humans and can (and will) stab dogs but, for some reason, pet safety was not seen as a problem in that case.

> This is just for tourism

Great then, a powerful reason to do it and a win-win for the local people.

If hunters were allowed for decades the right to release as many alien species that they liked, it seems a little hypocritical to criticize hotel owners or wildlife photographers for wanting to release native animals that they like also. Either everybody can do it or nobody should do it. All citizens having the same rights and duties is in the basis of a modern society

Diversification of economy is always the safest and smartest move. Not everybody must be a farmer.

peteretep 44 days ago [-]
What the actual...

> Eurasian Lynx is so endangered in UK that is in fact locally extinct. You can't be more endangered than that.

Eurasian Lynx is listed as “Least Concern”. That there aren’t any in Scotland has no bearing on this. This is a bewildering comment.

> Aggressive is relative ... some crap about zebras

It will be _the_ apex predator in the UK. It can bring down a deer. Wild comparisons to Africa and pack animals are bizarre when taking about introducing a new apex predator to a country that hasn’t had a predator of its size or power in centuries.

> some shit about deer

If deer are truly a problem, it turns out they’re pretty easy to shoot, some people enjoy it, and there’s money to be made from dead deer. You could introduce a new disruptive predator, sure. You could also poison the water source, but it’s also a freakin’ terrible solution to a problem with a much simpler solution.

pvaldes 44 days ago [-]
A species can be common in some place and critically endangered in other at the same time. Wildlife managers are enough smart to distinguish between the global and local situations.

And talking about that, I had seen before hunters bragging about how they can solve in a week what the stupid biologists were unable to solve in ten years. They always say the same.

Ok. Do it. Try it. I'll be waiting here.

I still haven't seen -one- real problem solved correctly by the bang bang experts, only lots of money burnt to achieve nothing. The list of problems that they create for other people is endless and well documented, from dozens of new diseases introduced, to game species extinct for greed, to entire populations of preys collapsing after removing the predators.

peteretep 44 days ago [-]
> A species can be common in some place and critically endangered in other at the same time

It is not critically endangered in the UK, it is several centuries extinct. The world is in no danger of losing this animal, the ecosystem in the UK has already adapted

Next up you pretend like animal culling is some new practice dreamed up by hunting enthusiasts.

ascorbic 44 days ago [-]
The ecosystem has adapted by losing most of its forest.
MaxBarraclough 44 days ago [-]
> I had seen before hunters bragging about how they can solve in a week what the stupid biologists were unable to solve in ten years. They always say the same. Ok. Do it. Try it. I'll be waiting here.

What's the explanation here? Are there just not enough hunters in the UK?

mabbo 44 days ago [-]
> they are aggressive predators,

Got a source on that? Having grown up in a rural area where lynx are native... I've seen one, one time, in my entire life (in the wild).

They are invisible. They stay away from people. "Aggressive" is the wrong word.

kimi 44 days ago [-]
Definitely. They are rather scary - not a big cat, but a small lion that jumps like crazy - but totally invisible. Only chances of "meeting" one is ending up in a cave where a female keeps her cubs.
justin66 44 days ago [-]
> They're not endangered, they are aggressive predators, and Scotland's ecology isn't obviously in need of them.

Are you certain on that last point?

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/feb/20/deer-cull-dilem...

I don't know that much about the lynx but it seems like it might be a useful ideal predator to release to help deal with deer overpopulation. They don't prey on people.

almog 44 days ago [-]
On that note, what does aggressive even mean as an adjective to a predator?
hetspookjee 44 days ago [-]
Haha, good question, but to answer: you can have black mamba aggresive, and black bear friendly. Both are fearsome predators but you can definitely say that a black mamba is way more aggresive. Unrelated, but after googling I also found capybaras to be the most friendly animals.
Pet_Ant 44 days ago [-]
Maybe it's a vital step to restoring the ecosystem back to closer to what it was half a millennium ago?
hashtagjohnt 44 days ago [-]
But what is the value in restoring that ecosystem? I am not saying that is a bad thing (it is probably a good thing), I am just curious what the argument for restoration is here.
smnrchrds 44 days ago [-]
There has been many articles written about the success of reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park. I am curious to know what the rationale for lynx in Scotland is, but I imagine the expected outcomes are in line with those observed in Yellowstone.

> Wolves are causing a trophic cascade of ecological change, including helping to increase beaver populations and bring back aspen, and vegetation.

https://www.yellowstonepark.com/things-to-do/wolf-reintroduc...

Pet_Ant 44 days ago [-]
That’s funny because to me it seems obvious: to restore the world to a state less effected by humankind. I guess you’ve made me question where that value comes from...
44 days ago [-]
nix23 44 days ago [-]
>and Scotland's ecology isn't obviously in need of them

Restoring nature to it's former self. No one would need Human Hunters if the Nature is still intact and balances itself, and sometimes Human Hunters cannot balance Nature from lets say from a mice-plague, so you have to kill them with toxic, some of them are still eaten by Owl/Eagle/Fox and are poisoned too, less Owls for the next year(s) means even more mice, so you need more toxins and the circle repeats.

Lynx Fox Wolf and Bear balance the nature and also balance each other. There are many more points why a intact nature is also better for Humans, but the Mouse sample should be enough.

jacobr 44 days ago [-]
I found it interesting that 48 year old Anders Povlsen is using his fortune buying up estates, trading with the state to get large adjacent areas to rewild - to the point where he’s now the largest private land owner https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anders_Holch_Povlsen
pinipedman 44 days ago [-]
They should re-introduce moose, wolves, and brown bears as well. But lynx would make a great start.
mrec 44 days ago [-]
They're already working on bison: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25846480

ETA: and we apparently have some moose and wild boar now, on a small scale: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2008/apr/15/wildlife...

toomanybeersies 44 days ago [-]
ggm 46 days ago [-]
Huge opposition likely from farmers. Cool, but uphill struggle I'd say. Within a boundary? Sure.
almog 44 days ago [-]
The same debate is going over in the Pyrenees regarding reintroduction of bears. Farmers fear for their sheep (seem to be especially the case on the French side from what I've gathered) but guard dogs seem to reduce their losses tremendously.

My main source of information is Steve Cracknell who's a writes about rewilding of the Pyrenees as well as hiking. I encountered his blog and twitter as part of my preparation for my thruehike of the Haute Raute Pyrenees. This is his twitter: https://twitter.com/enmarchant

jeromenerf 44 days ago [-]
The "patou" in the Pyrénées are big 50+ kg white fluff balls and they sometimes take their job a bit too seriously. They most probably won’t attack hikers but they may occasionally encourage them to go for a good sprint far around the herd.
youngtaff 44 days ago [-]
Sheep farming is pretty uneconomic in the UK, and sheep are destructive beasts so lynx reducing their numbers might be a good thing
rmah 44 days ago [-]
Um, then why are there 22.5 mil sheep in the UK for just 67mil people? Contrast this to 5.2 mil sheep in the US for 330 mil people. It must be at least marginally profitable for so many sheep to be raised in the UK (or are agriculture subsidies really that large and widespread in the UK?)
ggm 44 days ago [-]
Yes. farming subsidies are huge. 55% of farming income is derived from the CAP (pre-brexit) and the UK is a net importer of sheep meat.

Lamb is not popular in the US. It's a speciality meat. Lamb is common across europe.

Also: Australia: 75m sheep for 25m people Also: New Zealand: 25m sheep for 5m people

This quote:

A sheep farmer from North York Moors national park in northern England, who owns about 700 sheep over 1,250 acres, makes around £12,000 profit in a good year, and even this small income would be impossible without subsidies worth about £44,000 from the EU Common Agricultural Policy.

https://www.surgeactivism.org/articles/uk-farming-subsidies-...

youngtaff 44 days ago [-]
UK is a net exported of lamb (or was prior to Brexit) - https://ahdb.org.uk/news/uk-lamb-self-sufficiency-and-impact...

Sheep farming is mainly done on uplands and requires massive subsidies to give farmers a ‘liveable’ income

To my mind it's far better to stop farming sheep and pay the farmers to rewild the hills

Alternatively we could just stop subsidising sheep farmers let them go bust and the hills will rewild themselves

namenotrequired 44 days ago [-]
> Sheep farming is pretty uneconomic in the UK

So it makes sense the farmers would be opposed to anything that may eat their tiny profit margins

pvaldes 44 days ago [-]
This is unclear and farmers could find that they were wrong about it. Wouldn't be the first time.

Farmers lose small sheep to foxes. Lynx clean an area of foxes and defend bigger territories. Yes a couple of lynx can kill a lamb here and there, but currently they have yet twelve foxes in the same area trying to do the same all the time and living under the farm basement, so... what option looks better for the farmers? My bet would be "much less foxes and a lynx"

ggm 44 days ago [-]
if they were wise, they'd see the lynx-kill as a guaranteed income (albiet possibly below full market rate) and thus, a hedge: I believe most successful re-wildings of predators include compensation, so really, when you think about it, its not a huge loss overall.

Not a very romantic view I agree, if you're staring at a field of dead lambs and mothers, but farmers need to be philosophical these days. A lot of Australian farmers leave the land shortly after having to shoot stock in drought. Is this really worse?

rav 44 days ago [-]
Maybe he could just stick to releasing them on his own land?

> In 2018/2019 it was reported that Povlsen owns 221,000 acres (890 km2; 345 sq mi) of land in Scotland, making him the largest landowner there.

sambeau 44 days ago [-]
No doubt they will then use it as an excuse to fence the land off and prevent free roaming across it.
GordonS 44 days ago [-]
Scotland has had 'freedom to roam' laws for something like 15 years. Aside from a few "common sense" exclusions like quarries and airfields, the only real restriction is that roamers act responsibly.

Any other exclusions would need to be passed into law, which is highly unlikely to ever happen.

In practice these rights work well for everyone.

sambeau 44 days ago [-]
In the debate about reintroducing wolves to Scotland the landowner wanted to fence the land and add it to one of the few "common sense" exclusions.

https://www.nathab.com/blog/bringing-wolves-back-to-scotland...

noizejoy 44 days ago [-]
Thanks for that link - relatively short read, hinting at the multifaceted nature of doing something like this — and it’s not totally obvious what’s selfish and what’s altruistic.
ggm 44 days ago [-]
With beavers, the case (aside from joy of re-wilding) was clear regarding their effect on up-stream water retention. Beavers are net beneficial in uplands, preventing flooding, at a cost of marginal land usage loss near the stream due to ponds, and less aggressive but nonetheless pretty wet flooding when beaver dams break.

With predators, I am unsure what the (quasi?)economic argument would be. I think the environment is healthier with a population of top predators. its possible it would stop rampant deer problems, they eat the living bejesus out of young trees. But the young trees in question are mostly monoculture, cropped trees. We're not talking native forest here mostly, the caledonian forest is a tiny percentage of the plantation state of most of scotlands forestry. (or was, I left in the 80s. I am probably out of date here)

A lot of 'beautiful' landscape is totally manufactured, including grouse moors. The de-forestation of britain across the industrial revolution, and then the highland clearances to replace upland small tenant farming with sheep, was about replacing the landscape with .. other landscape. Forestry Commission plantations are a bit soulless, but Edinburgh Universty has been running forestry management degrees since around 1917, and the need for timber in WWI. A lot of "restore nature" is really "put it back the way my grandfather had it" not "put it back to the doggerland days"

I like wolves and lynx and beavers and storks. Lots of tourists like them. I don't know (absent CAP market support to farmers) which is more net beneficial longterm, the destructive farming patterns, or the tourism. Both have up and downsides.

Non-british resident. I could get "what do you know" answers back. They'd be fair.

suzzer99 44 days ago [-]
When do we bring back the cave bear?
blackcats 44 days ago [-]
Why is the web browser outdoors?
siltpotato 44 days ago [-]
Saw "Wild lynx could be reintroduced" and I wondered what environment used to have a browser but then didn't.
jfk13 44 days ago [-]
Lynx don't browse, they hunt.
DonaldFisk 44 days ago [-]
flatiron 44 days ago [-]
They must have poor internet if they need a console web browser.
thesis 44 days ago [-]
Humans have such a small grasp on this world... it seems most only think in terms of "now" -- Next thing you know people will be trying to reintroduce Wooly Mammoths somehow.
zokier 44 days ago [-]
> Next thing you know people will be trying to reintroduce Wooly Mammoths somehow.

Yes? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revival_of_the_woolly_mammoth