Lynx

lynx (5)

Its name means ‘light’ and it was so called because of the luminescence and reflectiveness of its golden eyes. The lynx is a native British animal… which may come as a surprise to some. It did to me, even though I have seen it portrayed in a number of medieval manuscripts.

lynx (1)

I had thought it just one of those flights of fantasy the illustrators indulged in from time to time. Sadly, no. It was hunted out of existence in these isles over a thousand years ago because its fur was so prized for clothing.ย Consequently, the only place you will now see one in Britain is in a zoo.

lynx

Perhaps, though, not for long. The Lynx UK Trust hopes to reintroduce these beautiful and elusive creatures back the the wild this year. Our forests are under threat from an overpopulation of deer. They eat the new and low growth and have no natural predators left here. It is hoped that the reintroduction of the lynx would eventually help to redress that balance.

lynx (4)

Concern about the reintroduction has been expressed by livestock owners, while the pro-lynx supporters make assurances of both minimal risk and compensation packages. Like the red kite, the lynx is seen as a threat to lambs and sheep. In the case of the kite, at least, hunted almost to extinction as vermin before their reintroduction, the fear was groundless. Although they will feed on the carcasses of sheep, their prey is mainly small mammals, small birds…and earthworms.

lynx (3)

I can see both sides of the argument,ย  particularly that of hard-hit sheep farmers, already facing the added uncertainty of the European economic situation, but on a purely personal level, even though I am never likely to see one of these shy and beautiful creatures in the wild, I would be glad to know they are there.

zoo whipsnade nick home kite 022

There is a video that has been doing the rounds for a while now. It is worth watching, both for its beauty and the questions it raises. If you haven’t seen it yet, take a few minutes to watch and ponder.

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
This entry was posted in Photography, wildlife and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Lynx

  1. What a beautiful feline!
    I have a special deep feeling for cats, and the lynx belong to the same family… In Switzerland WWF care for the protection of these great animals and sometimes, even if it is in rare occasion, you can get the chance to see them into Nature. I guess it is an extraordinary experience and I deeply wish to get once that chance.
    If is going to be reintroduced in the UK, it is most important to teach people to respect them as a protected species. The lifestock owners, has to see these animals not as predators but more “complement” of the diversification of the fauna… as you explained at the beginning, it is important for the re-equilibration because of the threat from an overpopulation of deer.
    Unfortunately, the presence of Humans (in many other occasions), generate a perilous imbalance which, one day in the not too far future, will bring to extinction… of humans beings. ๐Ÿ™‚ claudine

    Like

  2. Yes, I’ve heard quite a bit about the wish to re-introduce lynx, and I’m all for it. Some in the Highlands see it as a precursor to re-introducing the wolf, because there is less resistance to the Lynx, and if it goes well, then maybe people would be up for giving wolves a chance too. The landscape is being decimated by the deer, and they themselves are not looking healthy either. We need to find a way of redressing the natural balance. Harula x

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      There is a move to reintroduce wolves and bears too. Although we are a more densely populated country than many and use much of our small island, there are still wild places where they could live, without being on top of humans and so a percieved threat. x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Mary Smith says:

    What an amazing video – astonishing.
    There’s a small animal park near me which is involved in various breeding programmes, including lynx and also Scottish wild cats.

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      I saw the video some time ago and felt just the same, Mary.
      The lynx in the pictures are a family whose cubs were born at Whipsnade… and well accustomed to the British weather ๐Ÿ™‚
      I know the wild cats are on the verge of extinction too. Sadly, they weren’t just Scottish once upon a time, but populated England and Wales too. Long gone now.

      Like

  4. I used to wrestle LYNX to put their musk on my body. It wasn’t an easy task. Apparently, you can buy it in aerosols these days.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m all for the re-introduction of the Lynx as I think we should aim to restore the balance of nature as much as possible – it works far better without us meddling!
    Great video by the way; I hadn’t seen it but it shows how much the world would be without us ….

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      I agree, Noeline. We do have to be aware of amd address the concerns people might have, especially livestock owbers, but there are a number of safeguards being considered and put in place.

      Like

  6. noelleg44 says:

    What a magnificent cat, Sue! We have faced the same pros-cons with regard to the reintroduction of the red wolf in eastern NC and the gray wolf into areas with national parks in the west. I’m a pro person – these near-extinction species need to be reintroduced into the wild. The fact they are only in zoos is appalling.

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      I’m pro too, though I can see the other side of the argument and see that such concerns need to be thoroughly addressed, both for the people and for the animals… prey and predator. No good bringing them back if they cannot live how they need to or without the lines between man and wild being drawn so hastily that tragedy becomes inevitable.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Morgan says:

    GORGEOUS Kitty ๐Ÿ™‚ So sad they are so close to being gone from the earth ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Like

  8. Beautiful animals. What I’ve found living in the woods with bears, coyotes, and cougars, is that the wild animals are quite shy and prefer not to deal with people at all. Confrontations are incredibly rare and I like having them around ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sue Vincent says:

      Most wild things seem to steer clear of contact with humans, and I think I would be happy to take that possibility in exchange for the knowledge that they are there and might, one day, be glimpsed.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. So many of our most beautiful animals — especially predators — have been (and where possible, still are) hunted out of existence. Attempts here to save the grizzly bears and the wolves are a constant battle to save them from trophy hunters and ill-informed ranchers. The eagles are threatened too. It makes me very sad.

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      It is tragic how many species we are losing at the moment. We tend to blame history and our less-aware ancestors, but the estimates are staggering. They are only estimates… we have a better knowledge of the stars than we do of the diversity of life on this planet. Some would have gone extinct without our presence or intervention, just as part of the natural cycle, but too many more are a direct consequence of our actions.

      Like

  10. Eliza Waters says:

    Majestic creature! Hope they can make a successful reintroduction. I think it is best when nature balances things without man’s interference. Almost impossible, as they are way too many of us! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Like

  11. jenanita01 says:

    Reblogged this on Anita Dawes & Jaye Marie and commented:
    such a wonderful creature!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.