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A Proposal to Reintroduce the Wolf To Ireland


eyeswideopen

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In the last ten years, as marginal agriculture has retreated from the hills and EU policy has favoured wildernesses, a number of native predators, bears, wolves and eagles, have been successully reintroduced to various parts of Europe.

The Irish Times yesterday published an article on the loss of the wolf from Ireland, as a result of a Cromwellian campaign to hunt them down and eliminate them. The last wolf recorded in Ireland was killed by a wolf-hound pack in 1786.

Ringforts were built from AD 500 to AD 1000 to protect cattle and sheep from them. William Russell, lord deputy of Ireland, was recorded wolf hunting with his wife in Kilmainham, Dublin, on May 26th, 1596. In 1558, 961 wolf skins from Ireland were exported to the port of Bristol.

Dr Hickey wrote that it was clear Ireland had a very significant wolf population during the 1500s and early 1600s, possibly well in excess of 1,000 animals.

He said the last authenticated date for the killing of a wolf in Ireland was 1786 on Mount Leinster, Co Carlow: a lone wolf which killed sheep was “subsequently hunted down and killed by the wolfhounds of John Watson, Ballydarton, Co Carlow”.
Curse of Cromwell extended to Ireland's wolf population - The Irish Times - Wed, Nov 11, 2009

There is a campaign to reintroduce wolves to Scotland. There are apparently many ecological benefits.

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Wild wolves 'good for ecosystems'

Faced with another era of mass emigration and population decline, should the human species in Ireland make room for the wolf ?
 

Bianca

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Unfortunately, that will not work...

Farmers will call an outrage if Ireland gets natual predator...
 

The Caped Cod

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The reintroduction of the Bear to the French Pyrennees worked very well though the locals were against it at first as many are Shepards.

Slightly off topic but reading your post it suddenly struck me as being not far off a metaphore. Cromwell killed all the proud and fearsome Irish wolves and all we're left with are cute fùcking foxes.
 

The Caped Cod

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Unfortunately, that will not work...

Farmers will call an outrage if Ireland gets natual predator...
Besides the banker you mean...
 

flavirostris

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This was proposed in Scotland recently as the deer population has exploded due to lack of natural predation. I can't see the farming community being agreeable to this here as even the White-Tailed Eagle re-introduction has caused acrimony and many birds have been lost to poisoning.
While Scotland has enough forest to support wolves, I don't think there is any area here big enough ( where they wouldn't pose a threat to sheep )
 

A Voice

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Sep 29, 2009
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In the last ten years, as marginal agriculture has retreated from the hills and EU policy has favoured wildernesses, a number of native predators, bears, wolves and eagles, have been successully reintroduced to various parts of Europe.

The Irish Times yesterday published an article on the loss of the wolf from Ireland, as a result of a Cromwellian campaign to hunt them down and eliminate them. The last wolf recorded in Ireland was killed by a wolf-hound pack in 1786.



Curse of Cromwell extended to Ireland's wolf population - The Irish Times - Wed, Nov 11, 2009

There is a campaign to reintroduce wolves to Scotland. There are apparently many ecological benefits.

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Wild wolves 'good for ecosystems'

Faced with another era of mass emigration and population decline, should the human species in Ireland make room for the wolf ?
Interesting post, but there would be no benefits to Ireland in reintroducing wolves. The Scottish situation is unique. I was talking to a bloke who went on a deer shoot to Scotland. He said they're completely out of hand there. The figure he gave me was 5 million deer. One per person, roughly. They've had the army up there with serious hardware trying to cull the deer population.

Wolves are dangerous predators. Reintroducing bears and wolves in other countries is a daft fad that will bite people on the bum, literally!
 

eyeswideopen

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Nov 6, 2009
Messages
260
The reintroduction of the Bear to the French Pyrennees worked very well though the locals were against it at first as many are Shepards.

Slightly off topic but reading your post it suddenly struck me as being not far off a metaphore. Cromwell killed all the proud and fearsome Irish wolves and all we're left with are cute fùcking foxes.
Nice :p. Somewhere in my mind there was a metaphor, on the NAMA day that's in it, to do with the snarling predators down at the Dail who are going to eat our babies.
 

Riadach

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Well, perhaps a nice bit of reforestation to go with it? Aren't we one of the most deforested areas in Western Europe? I'm also aware that deer, even in the Phoenix Park, have to be regularly culled due to their expanding numbers.
 

The Caped Cod

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Well, perhaps a nice bit of reforestation to go with it? Aren't we one of the most deforested areas in Western Europe? I'm also aware that deer, even in the Phoenix Park, have to be regularly culled due to their expanding numbers.
I'll second that. And not just those Coilte christmas tree lots in nice neat rows. Fiar enough they grow quickly but it reminds me of Irelands broad band infrastructure, the quick fix.
 

zakalwe1

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bring back the wolves....
get rid of the snakes and weasals....st patrick forgot to clear out the Blackhall Place when in his banishing phase
 
G

Gimpanzee

Interesting post, but there would be no benefits to Ireland in reintroducing wolves. The Scottish situation is unique. I was talking to a bloke who went on a deer shoot to Scotland. He said they're completely out of hand there. The figure he gave me was 5 million deer. One per person, roughly. They've had the army up there with serious hardware trying to cull the deer population.

Wolves are dangerous predators. Reintroducing bears and wolves in other countries is a daft fad that will bite people on the bum, literally!
5 million? Its approx a tenth of that. They are now at the levels they were at about 70 years ago. But it was good of your redneck mate to help the poor Scots out of their terrible predicament.

Bring back the wolves and provide entertainment for them by forcing disarmed gun loving hill-billies to run around naked in their territory. If the wolves keep the numbers of vermin like that in check they'll be doing a great service.
 

Riadach

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I'll second that. And not just those Coilte christmas tree lots in nice neat rows. Fiar enough they grow quickly but it reminds me of Irelands broad band infrastructure, the quick fix.
Christ, I think the same thing. I find they ruin landscapes completely, and all because they grow in a quarter of the time it takes native deciduous varieties to grow. Great thing about Irish placenames is that they betray the dominant tree type that existed there before the advent of deforestation. Oulart abhallghort, derry-doire newry iúr chinn trá mayo, maigh eo etc etc.
 

The Caped Cod

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5 million? Its approx a tenth of that. They are now at the levels they were at about 70 years ago. But it was good of your redneck mate to help the poor Scots out of their terrible predicament.

Bring back the wolves and provide entertainment for them by forcing disarmed gun loving hill-billies to run around naked in their territory. If the wolves keep the numbers of vermin like that in check they'll be doing a great service.
Could we declare Leinster House a natural sanctuary?
 

FrankSpeaks

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Apr 18, 2008
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4,625
I watch a TV program on the proposed reintroduction of the wolf into Scotland and the biggest problem as far as I remember was that they would have to be fenced in and the area was too small. Read more about it here.
 

Riadach

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G

Gimpanzee

Christ, I think the same thing. I find they ruin landscapes completely, and all because they grow in a quarter of the time it takes native deciduous varieties to grow. Great thing about Irish placenames is that they betray the dominant tree type that existed there before the advent of deforestation. Oulart abhallghort, derry-doire newry iúr chinn trá mayo, maigh eo etc etc.
It's kind of like complaining that farmers planted loads of corn in straight lines instead of creating wild flower meadows - it is a crop. Coillte are first and foremost a forestry company whose business is timber. I'm all for planting broad leaf forests to be used as amenities and nature reserves, but the land most suitable for them is now farmland, not the likes of the uplands and other soils that have been forested in the recent past because they were undesirable to farmers.
 

Riadach

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It's kind of like complaining that farmers planted loads of corn in straight lines instead of creating wild flower meadows - it is a crop. Coillte are first and foremost a forestry company whose business is timber. I'm all for planting broad leaf forests to be used as amenities and nature reserves, but the land most suitable for them is now farmland, not the likes of the uplands and other soils that have been forested in the recent past because they were undesirable to farmers.
But they're not all crops, and I'm not merely talking about coillte here. I may be completely wrong, but aren't their subsidies for those who plant x numbers of trees on their lands?
 

politicaldonations

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I was walking my dog in the phoenix park recently and discovered there is a part of Dublin zoo where you can see directly into the wolves enclosure from outside the boundary of the zoo. Was interesting to see this pack of wolves eyeing up my domestic dog! Beautiful creatures.
 
G

Gimpanzee

But they're not all crops, and I'm not merely talking about coillte here. I may be completely wrong, but aren't their subsidies for those who plant x numbers of trees on their lands?
There are/were a number of incentives alright, but I think they were all aimed at plantations that would be expected to be harvested at some point. Realistically, we need the state to buy up a load of contiguous farms and plan them as recreational forests and not with a view to harvesting them. But there is virtually no chance that will happen.
 
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