Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Wolf Pack Rreleased in the Scottish Highlands

by Max A.E. Rossberg, European Wilderness Society:
Wolf pack released in the Scottish Highlands
Wolves most likely in Alladale, Scotland released

Tamsweg, 1.4.2015. Just this Sunday, David Attenborough was cited as backing the reintroduction of wolves in the Highlands. As it seems his wish has now become reality.

Surprising even to most nature conservationists, a pack of wolves with 6 individuals was released today in an undisclosed location in the Scottish highlands. We believe that they were released close to Alladale, Scotland. 

This move caught everyone familiar with the nature conservation and wildlife movement in the United Kingdom by surprise, including us.

According to Slovakian NGOS, the wolves were captured in the border region between Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine and were brought last weekend in a largely clandestine operation by truck to the United Kingdom via the Eurotunnel. According to Customs officials, entering the United Kingdom posed a problem for the wolves.

The release of the wolves is a huge success and reflects that more than 70% of UK citizens favouring the return of wolves to the British Isles.

Slovakia, Poland, Ukrainian region
Slovakia, Poland, Ukrainian region

Gudrun Pflüger, Large Carnivore Specialist, confirmed: ¨The Scottish Highlands are the ideal area for the reintroduction of wolves due to the abundance of ungulates. The large numbers of natural prey will minimize the human- and wolf coexistence issues commonly experienced in Germany, Switzerland, Italy or Spain where already large number of wolves roam freely in the countryside.”

But she also warns that: ¨The Scottish governments must immediately start with educating the local sheep farmers on how to effectively protect their herds and provide compensation schemes for the first years until the protection measures are adopted and effectively managed.”

There still is no official confirmation of the whereabouts of the wolf pack due to the danger of negative local repercussions by hunters and farmers as well as sheepherders. A veterinarian involved with the release of the wolf pack confirmed, that scientists are tracking the wolves and are monitoring their behaviour.

We are strongly supporting this fantastic news and are preparing educational material plus training seminars for Scottish sheep herders on how to best protect their herds.

We will keep you updated on this fantastic turn of events in the United Kingdom.

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