Is 'Rewilding' an Option?



In Britain, and across Europe, there are growing calls (mostly amongst the public) for the reintroduction of top predators such bears and wolves. To some extent these have been driven by successful reintroductions of wolves to Yellowstone Park in America.  At Yellowstone, the wolves have been managing the deer populations which in turn has seen a regrowth of woodland and an associated increase in the range of woodland species in the National Park.

In America, where it is thought that humans were responsible for the extinction of the continent’s megafauna, there have even been suggestions that attempts should be made to ‘re-wild’ with modern day versions of Pleistocene mammals – lions, elephants and so on…

There are several reasons why such re-wilding programmes are difficult to implement. The first is one of human-wildlife conflict.