Missing Species of the Caledonian Forest
The following species have all been lost from the Caledonian Forest in historic times, due to human exploitation and habitat destruction. With 99% of the original forest having been destroyed, undoubtedly there are other less-obvious species (eg of plants, insects, fungi etc) that have also been lost, but there are no records to confirm this.
Trees for Life advocates the reintroduction of all these missing species in due course, as they each play an essential role in the ecosystem, and there will never be a healthy self-sustaining forest in the Highlands until all the constituent species, especially the large mammals, are back again.
Elk or moose (Alces alces)
Brown bear (Ursus arctos)
Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus)
Aurochs or wild ox (Bos primigenius)
Restoring Missing Species
We are currently publishing a series of articles in our members' magazine, Caledonia Wild!, on restoring missing species. These discuss the challenges of reintroducing species that haven't been present for many years, sometimes centuries, and give details of conservation techniques to increase populations of rare species and to restore those that have been lost.
- Our Once and Future Fauna
- Wild, Free and Coming Back?: A two-day conference hosted by the Wildland Network and Trees for Life, 16 & 17 September 2008
- Postcard from Switzerland, from Caledonia Wild! Spring 2010
- Postcard from Slovakia, from Caledonia Wild! Summer 2009
- Postcard from Transylvania, from Caledonia Wild! Winter 2007
- Return of the Wild by Roy Dennis
- The Meaning and Relevance of Rewilding in Scotland (abstract of MSc dissertation)
- Rewilding Scotland (abstract of a documentary created as part of an MA in Multimedia Journalism in 2010)
In pictures: the species being reintroduced to the British countryside, from the Guardian's website. Includes beaver, wolf and lynx.