Comment: What if Wolves don’t change rivers, or the Lynx lacks bite? Rethinking a rewilding orthodoxy
For many, the reintroduction of apex predators is thought of as a necessary means for ecosystem recovery. In the fifth article of the Wilding for Conservation series, Hugh Webster asks whether reintroducing predators, such as Wolves or Lynx, would really have this desired impact on our nature-depleted landscapes.
Rewilding seeks to establish resilient, self-sustaining ecosystems by restoring natural processes and complete (or near-complete) food-webs encompassing all trophic levels (IUCN 2021). However, rebuilding food webs in nature-depleted landscapes will often require reintroductions, which can be controversial – especially when the species involved are apex predators, returning to landscapes and communities from which they have long been absent (e.g. Hetherington 2018).