In 2013 I was successful in my application to the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (WCMT) for a Travelling Fellowship.
I was awarded a grant for my project on “Evaluating Wildlife Reintroductions – understanding social, economic and ethical impacts.” I spent 6 weeks in the USA and Canada working with people who are key to wildlife reintroductions and lived with people in the surrounding communities to find out how they address the challenges that arise from conservation efforts.
Read all about my adventure here: Travelling Fellowship Report
The UK has had some successful reintroductions in the recent past, including white-tailed eagles, wild boar and beavers but the big name species like the grey wolf and the grizzly bear are currently shied away from, and for good reason. Until we learn more about how to successfully live with large predators, we can not expect to make progress. With the beaver here to stay and now protected in Scotland, times are changing. Many of us look towards animals like the European lynx as the next possibility for a mammalian reintroduction to the UK and as we move in this direction, education about coexistence is essential.