Dr Joseph Bull on KMTV discussing wolf reintroduction
10th July 2018
Dr Joseph Bull has been interviewed on local news channel KMTV to discuss his research on reintroducing wolves in Scotland first published last month in the journal Restoration Ecology.
“If you reintroduce a species somewhere, you can do so for at least two reasons: you want to conserve that species, or create a viable population; or you want that species to do something within the landscape. We were looking at reintroducing wolves to a fenced enclosure in the Scottish Highlands and see if they would do either or both of these things.”
In the region, there is a proliferation of red deer which is having a degrading effect on the countryside. “They used to have a lot of natural predators, like wolves, which we don’t have anymore. So there’s a high density of red deer in Scotland and that has a knock-on effect on the native woodland, reducing its quality. So what we hoped these wolves would do is reduce those deer numbers to a level where it’s a more natural ecosystem.
“The thing we wanted to study was that, by having the fences around the reserve, you’d actually end up with a higher wolf density than you would if the space was left open. And whether that was a more natural system because int he wild they’re always going to come across a natural barrier eventually.”
Dr Bull’s research has had a wide reach, even inspiring a Shakespearean sonnet by Sam Illingworth, a Senior Lecturer in Science Communications at Manchester Metropolitan University.
The full interview can be viewed here.
Image courtesy of Chris Sandom (@nature_based on Twitter).