Scottish conservationists have condemned a new report, Wolves in Nature, which proposes reintroducing wolves to a test site in the Scottish Highlands to help control increasing populations of red deer.

The report, which is to be published in the journal Biological Conservation, was co-authored by American scientist, William Ripple, and Australian scientists, Adrian Manning and Iain Gordon.

The scientists contend that the reintroduction of the predators to a Scottish island would allow monitoring of the animals? effect on red deer numbers, their behaviour and the ecosystem.

Scottish conservation organisations do not feel the proposals are viable, however.

A spokesman for Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) told Shooting Times magazine: ?The issue of wolves? reintroduction has been raised in the past. SNH does not believe there is the necessary support among the Scottish public in general and land managers in particular, and is therefore not considering the reintroduction of wolves.?

The Scottish Gamekeepers? Association?s Alex Hogg concurred: ?Since introducing beavers to Scotland this summer, SNH has been very clear that there is absolutely no intention of reintroducing any other species for many years. We welcome that policy. Scotland is simply too small for a major experiment such as releasing wolves to kill deer.?

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