Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Carnivores released into wild 'fail and die'

Most carnivores bred in captivity and released back into the wild fail to cope and die, according to a study published online in the journal Biological Conservation. Researchers are calling for a complete rethink of such reintroductions before others are carried out, including the suggested release of animals such as the lynx, wildcat and wolf into Scotland. The scientists from Exeter University looked at 45 reintroductions, involving 17 carnivore species. It found that over half the animals were killed by humans, generally in shootings and car accidents. For example, of 46 captive-bred lynx released into Switzerland, only 15 survived. Five wolves released into Yellowstone national park in the United States were shot by ranchers bordering the park. The study also found captive animals were more susceptible to starvation and disease than their wild counterparts and less able to form successful social groups. Source: Telegraph

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