Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

The missing lynx - restoring Scotland’s The missing lynx - restoring Scotland’s forgotten cat forgotten cat By Dr David Hetherington Peter Cairns.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "The missing lynx - restoring Scotland’s The missing lynx - restoring Scotland’s forgotten cat forgotten cat By Dr David Hetherington Peter Cairns."— Presentation transcript:

1 The missing lynx - restoring Scotland’s The missing lynx - restoring Scotland’s forgotten cat forgotten cat By Dr David Hetherington Peter Cairns

2

3 Reintroduced Populations Natural Populations European distribution of Eurasian lynx of Eurasian lynx Karl Weber

4 Why consider reintroducing lynx to Scotland? Ethical Moral responsibility to restore species that we as humans, made extinct Legal The UK is obliged by Bern Convention, Rio Convention & EU Habitats Directive to consider the feasibility of reintroducing extinct species Ecological Restoring top predator to ecosystem may help to reduce damage by deer Economic Reducing deer densities can reduce damage to forestry and agriculture. Lynx could contribute to wildlife tourism

5 When and how did the lynx become extinct in Scotland, and have conditions improved for lynx since then?

6 IUCN Guidelines for Re-introductions “Identification and elimination, or reduction to a sufficient level, of previous causes of decline…”

7 The distribution of historic and prehistoric remains of lynx in Britain Late Glacial Post-glacial Historic Undated

8 The distribution of lynx in Europe around 1800 After Curry-Lindahl (1951) and Kratochvil (1968)

9 Decline of Forest Cover in Scotland 75% forest cover in mid Holocene Permanent deforestation occurred in far north and west BP due to wetter climate Anthropogenic clearance begun by mesolithic communities but occurs on large scale during Bronze and Iron Ages >50% of forest cleared by year 1 AD Destruction, helped by woodland grazing of livestock, continued until last area of extensive forests, in the Grampians, were all but cleared from

10 Forest cover by the late 18th and 19th centuries for selected European countries European countries Hungary30% Switzerland19% France14% Scotland 4%

11 20 th Century afforestation means forest cover now 20% for Scottish mainland The aim is to have 25% forest cover for the whole of Scotland by 2050, with a focus now on Forest Habitat Networks Modern Scotland Roe, non-native sika and red deer now widespread and numerous in woodland All 3 species occur at high densities, often creating problems for ecology and for forestry All 3 species are potential prey for lynx

12 Study by Breitenmoser & Haller (1993) in the Swiss Alps showed: Lynx at colonising front had much smaller home ranges Lynx at colonising front had much smaller home ranges than lynx in the established core distribution than lynx in the established core distribution One male and one female made 75% of their kills in a One male and one female made 75% of their kills in a 8.5km 2 area at the colonising front, while a male and female 8.5km 2 area at the colonising front, while a male and female in the established core made their kills over a 142km 2 area in the established core made their kills over a 142km 2 area Local chamois population at the front decreased from Local chamois population at the front decreased from within 6 years within 6 years

13 Prey species Number of kills found % of prey items Roe deer Chamois Red fox Brown hare Marmot Pine marten Badger Domestic cat Wild cat Capercaillie Prey spectrum of lynx in the Swiss Jura (from Jobin et al., 2000)

14 Sheep production in Scotland High densities in southern Scotland, but low densities in the north and west Vast majority of sheep now grazed in open pasture

15 Number of sheep killed Lynx depredation on sheep in Switzerland

16

17

18 Peter Cairns

19 The extinction of lynx in Scotland was not caused by climate change, and probably occurred during the Middle Ages Early and severe deforestation, a decline in deer populations and persecution due to predation on woodland-grazed livestock are likely to have been the most significant factors These factors no longer operate in the modern Scottish landscape

20 How many lynx could Scotland support?

21 Analysis of Habitat Conducted using a Geographical Information System or GIS Most habitat data was drawn from the Swiss Alps due to the high quality of data available and the environmental similarity to much of Scotland.

22 45-74 km km km 2 + One female territory only At least one male and one female Could support >20 lynx Total area = km 2 Total area = 3,172.4 km 2 Total area = 17,139.3 km 2 100km

23 Connectivity Analysis

24 Northern Scotland 14,994.4 km 2 Southern Scotland 5,327 km 2 (6,144.4 km 2 if including Kielder Forest) Scotland 20,321.4 km 2 100km

25 Lynx 100km -2 Source areaUngulates km -2 Ungulate biomass available to lynx (kg km -2 ) Central Norway Swiss Jura Swiss Alps Bialowieza, Poland Scottish Highlands Southern Uplands 0.2 roe, 1.6 reindeer, 0.8 sheep roe, 1.6 chamois roe, 5.0 chamois roe, 6.4 red deer roe; 3.1 red deer; 1.6 sika, 0.1 fallow roe; 0.9 red deer; 0.1 fallow 183 Wild ungulate biomass and lynx densities from selected areas in Europe

26 The relationship between lynx density and wild ungulate density for four areas in Europe. Ungulate biomass kg km -2 Lynx 100km -2

27 Highlands 394 lynx Southern Uplands 51 lynx Scotland total 445 lynx Average lynx population densities of 2.63 and km -2 are predicted for the Highlands and Southern Uplands respectively. Giving: 100km

28 Population Viability Analysis (PVA) Used RAMAS/age software Model employed good quality life history data from real lynx populations across Europe What is the Minimum Viable Population (MVP) size for lynx? The risk of extinction during 100-year period after reaching carrying capacity was explored for a range of theoretical population sizes An extinction risk of 5% or less was considered acceptable

29 PopulationPessimisticIntermediateOptimistic Probability of persistence over 100 years for a range of population sizes at carrying capacity

30 100km Highlands lynx - VIABLE Southern Uplands - 51 lynx – NON- VIABLE Average lynx population predicted for the Highlands and Southern Uplands:

31 Andreas Ryser Wildlife corridor – for lynx

32 Conclusions Lynx are native to Scotland, but humans made them extinct by the late Middle Ages Large amount of well-connected potential habitat available High densities of prey suggest habitat could support around 450 lynx in two populations A Southern Uplands population must be connected to the Highlands population The Highlands could support a viable lynx population

33 Acknowledgements Dr Martyn Gorman, University of Aberdeen Dr Martyn Gorman, University of Aberdeen The Highland Foundation for Wildlife The Highland Foundation for Wildlife KORA Carnivore Research, Switzerland KORA Carnivore Research, Switzerland Northshots Northshots  Urs Breitenmoser


Download ppt "The missing lynx - restoring Scotland’s The missing lynx - restoring Scotland’s forgotten cat forgotten cat By Dr David Hetherington Peter Cairns."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google