Magazine article Geographical

Bringing Back the Beasts

Magazine article Geographical

Bringing Back the Beasts

Article excerpt

There's something very appealing--even romantic--about the reintroduction of species into areas from which they've disappeared. Doing so seems to fly in the face of the widespread destruction we're wreaking on the planet, giving us the illusion that perhaps one day we could reverse the damage and bring back the ecosystems that we've so efficiently dismantled.

In many cases, these projects have been carried out by private groups or individuals, whether it be the game parks of southern Africa or landowners such as Paul Lister, who has already brought elk and wild boar back to his 9,300-hectare estate in the Scottish Highlands and hopes eventually to add wolves, bears, lynx, wildcats and red squirrels into the mix (page 60).

Of course, such projects face numerous hurdles--from the fencing of the land to keep the animals in and unwanted predators out to the intricacies of rebuilding a functioning ecosystem. And in Lister's case, he also has to deal with the widespread public alarm at the prospect of large predators returning to the Highlands. …

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