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The Contender
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Should Megafauna be Introduced to Great Britain?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/10/2013 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,316 times Debate No: 35463
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)




Should large megafauna that is now extinct in Britain (Wolves, wild horse, wild cattle, moose, beavers, bear etc.) be reintroduced? Of course they should. The sad truth is the countryside is dead. Intensive farming means there is no room for wildlife and Roe and Red Deer, whose populations have exploded due to lack of predators, are literally eating away our forests. Introducing large predators and grazer would restore ecological balance by creating a healthy, functioning ecosystem. Larger and poitentionally more dangerous animal species should be confined to national parks where populations can be monitored and controlled and smaller megafauna (Lynx, beavers etc) which pose no threat to humans should exist nationwide.


If you've seen Jurassic Park, then you know that attempting to control nature doesn't work very well. How are we to "control" these proposed predators? What safegaurds do you propose to ensure that we don't have the same overpopulation problem with the reintroduced invasive predators. Call an open season for hunters. Let humans be the predators. Because of the natural balance of nature, it is impossible to fully eat away a forest. If the forest is overly eaten by the destructive animals, the animals will die off and the forest will regrow.
Debate Round No. 1


Are you really comparing a science fiction film in which dinosaurs are cloned on a tropical islands to reintroducing species to Britain? And controlling nature worked well enough for our ancestors. If we didn't control nature then our ancestors wouldn't have been able to wipe out species from a region and make it that they are no longer present today. And we can control these proposed predators by numerous methods;

1. We can import bears and wolves from areas where they are scared of people and very shy because of a long history of persecution there, such as parts of Scandinavia or Estonia.

2. There are numerous ways to protect livestock from these predators such as filling dead livestock with pellets which give off a bitter taste so the large predators learn not to eat sheep, cattle and pigs as well as a series of red flags around the pens, which for reasons as yet unknown to researchers, wolves refuse to cross. Besides, the huge amount of tourism that these animals bring to the affected areas will more than compensate for loss of livestock.

3. Microchipping ensures that we can track these animals and study how they behave in the British countryside.

4. If the worst comes to the worst and the population grows too large (and it probably won't) culling is always a last resort option.

And may I ask what you mean by your statement saying 'What safeguards do you propose to ensure that we don't have the same overpopulation problem with the reintroduced invasive predators'? What 'reintroduced invasive predators' are you talking about because they cant be both reintroduced and invasive? If you are talking about animals like the Mink which were introduced (not reintroduced) those are non-native animals which of course would affect the ecosystem because they shouldn't be there. However the megafauna I'm proposing we introduce should be. An ecosystem is like a game of Jenga, you start off with a large stable tower but when you start killing off species and taking out blocks it becomes more and more unstable. Some species play more crucial roles in the stability of the tower (the apex predators such as bear, wolves and lynx and habitat alterers such as beavers) and when you take these out the jenga tower and the ecosystem collapses.

And why would we let people hunt the small populations of animals that we have just reintroduced?

And please explain how, 'Because of the natural balance of nature, it is impossible to fully eat away a forest'.

'If the forest is overly eaten by the destructive animals, the animals will die off and the forest will regrow.' May I direct you to the Cairngorms National Park in my homeland of bonnie Scotland. thousands of years ago it was an ancient Caledonian Pine Forest full of Capercaille, goshawks, red squirrels and large predators to keep the herbivore numbers in check. Then humans arrived and we killed off these predators and the red deer number exploded. Now because of the huge herds of deer most of the Cairngorms is a barren heather filled wasteland only home to a few specialised species. The deer continue to thrive by eating grasses and any new growth of the trees.


Our ancestors inadvertently drove hundreds of species (like the dodo) to extinction because of a lack of regulation that is still apparent today.

Besides, why would you take the risk of introducing new predators? People will inevitably loose livestock; you can't assume that every small farmer has dead bodies lying around to fill with shot, or that they'd be willing to slaughter one of their existing animals. That strategy would go farthest in protecting larger corporations. Throughout history, people have used their own power to keep animal populations in control. When an enormous swarm of locusts devastated the central United States in the 19th century,rewards were offered for killing a bushel of locusts. Why would we risk reintroducing animals with sharp, pointy teeth if we don't have to? Besides, if there is "no room for wildlife" in the countryside as you claim, will putting more wildlife in the area help fix the problem, or will it create a entirely new one? With farms pushing right up in the new predator's noses, they will inevitably eat livestock, whether they want to or not. They'll be constricted and unhappy.

Not to mention that transporting large, carnivorous animals from overseas (or, for that matter, within the UK itself), isn't a dirt cheap process. Finding, tranquilizing, caging, and either flying or driving these beasts to their locations is an arduous process that takes dozens of man hours. There is no such thing as a carnivorous animal with the ability to eat deer that poses "absolutely no threat to humans" when being captured and confined and shoved in a cage. They feel threatened, and would take the first opportunity to escape that they could, no matter, who's in their way. Minimizing that danger requires drugs, vehicles, and extensive teams. It can be done, but why?

Why would we impose anything when the quick and easy solution is to simply tell people to kill these things instead of more animals? Put up a hunting limit, call a limited open season, and let us, the top of the food chain, do what we do best. There is no reason to try to over think the problem and try to initiate an expensive, impractical solution that could easily create more problems of its own.

One last thing:

Just to clarify the hunting thing I mentioned in the first round, I didn't mean hunting the predators, but hunting the over-populous animal. Sorry for any confusion that might have caused.
Debate Round No. 2


'Our ancestors inadvertently drove hundreds of species (like the dodo) to extinction because of a lack of regulation that is still apparent today.' Exactly, proving my point that we can and have controlled nature, and very well at that.

You talk about the impracticalities of discouraging predators from eating livestock. There is no need to slaughter existing animals, many livestock die naturally and we don't need to put out a lot of bodies just one or two with a small dosage of chemicals that tell the predatos these animals are not good to eat. And they won't inevitably eat livestock this is proven in areas of Scandinavia and Estonia where these predators and farming coexist. Im not saying there won't be problems but we as people, no matter how much we think we have moved on in society and civilsiation, everytime there is a problem with animals our first instinct is to shoot it. This is especially true in the unscientific and unethical pojntless cull of Britains badgers, proof that governments should have nothing to do with environments. Besides they would be introduced to areas where there is little people.

I never said that there was no room for wildlife I said that our countryside is dead and that there is no more room for wildlife in our farms.

You talk about the impracticalities of moving these animals, this happens all the time with zoos, why aren't I hearing hundreds of stories of people being killed by tansported animals if what you say is true?

'There is no reason to try to over think the problem'. This is the simplest option.

MY OPTION: Problem: Our environment is dead because there is an absence of predators.
Solution: Bring back the predators.

YOUR OPTION: Problem: Our environment is dead because there is an absence of predators.

Solution: Lets try to cull the offending animal populations whose numbers have exploded and use lots of man hours and work to attempt to bring back our environment the best we can.

And you keep talking about us hunting animals. 'and let us, the top of the food chain, do what we do best', may I direct you with the opening statement that you began with about the Dodo and whatnot?

1. There is no 'food chain' an ecosystem and its fauna and flora is a complex web of relations and niches.

2. How do we do that well? Every ecosystem that we enter we screw up! Iv already talked about Britain, but let me tell you the sixth mass extinction isn't about to happen, its already began. It began when man left Africa and spread out across the world killing countless megafauna from the Mastodons of America to the Diprotrodons of Australia. The next wave happened when man began to create civilistations and any large predators were wiped out. The next wave was when we spread out to islands across the world and unleashed plagues of rats to island ecosystems, that was where our presecence was most felt (It wasnt just the Dodo on Mauritius all the fauna in this painting was wiped out by humans when they arrived;). The next wave has started as we chop down the world rainforests and melt the ice caps. We do not fit in with the food web anymore.

You also repeatedly ask why we should do this and that 'we don't have to' If we want to restore at least some of our environement to its former glory we need to introduced these animals. The implications to the environment would be astounding and outweigh the problems by a huge amount. If you need proof of this look at how the reintroduction of the wolf completely changed the landscape of Yellowstone.


Either option proposed involves entering an ecosystem and messing with it. It juts depends whether or not you do it with uncontrollable animals or guns.

And I didn't say that people get killed by moving animals. I'm just saying that the extensive precautions taken to make sure that an accident doesn't occur are expensive. Zoos don't do it all the time for just that reason. Sure, an animal is moved every once in a while, but the reason you don't see zoos trading tigers and bears three times a year is because it's such a resource-consuming process.

Reintroduction isn't nearly as simple as you make it sound. If the prey population has exploded, than the predator one will, too. When the prey population goes back down as a result of all the predators, the excess predators will be left with no food,forcing them to descend upon the livestock, whether they want to or not. I'm sorry if I didn't make this point clear in previous rounds.

You phrase my hunting solution as requiring "lots of man hours." Do they count as man hours if they're done voluntarily? A similar system to what I'm proposing has already been going on for a while now within the US. Call an open season, and people will charge on in,weapons at the ready, all on their own. It's sick, I know, but people enjoy hunting and killing for fun. We'd simply utilize this violent need in order to cull the population to our needs. People are much easier to control than animals. As in the US, we could instate a simple limit on the number of animals you're allowed to kill, and call the season to a close when the animal populations reach reasonable numbers. Nice, easy, and virtually free. So, can you please explain how it would be better to go through the arduous, expensive, time consuming process of not only transporting each animal, but extensively micro-chipping (or radio-collaring) and tracking them, as you propose? That's an incredibly long term commitment; You'd need to track these creatures for years to get any kind of usable data. My solution is quick and easy, with very virtually no expenses and few, if any, problems.

I'm not saying that predators should never be reintroduced. Maybe, in the future, when the time is right and we've already solved other, more important environmental problems facing our society, it might be a good idea to bring back these magnificent creatures for the sake of environmental diversity in the UK. But now is not that time, when our world has both much more serious environmental and political problems to worry about and deal with.
Debate Round No. 3


I though we have been over the fact that these animals are controllable seeing that we were able to control them thousands of years ago Im sure we would be able to control them now.

It is resource consuming but all we need is a couple to start of fwith, its not really that much of a monumental feat, especially if they are coming from just over the North Sea.

The population fluctuations won't be that excessive as these large predators don't breed like rabbits and as I said before any losses of livestock, if there is any if the correct deterrents are put into place, would be more than compensated by the amount of tourism generated.

It is lots of man hours, its not as simple as just saying 'go kill these deer', we need people to regulate the numbers, we need to put wardens in place and people to make sure that they are shooting the correct species. Your solution might work in the US, but not nearly as well here, if it did we wouldn't have this problem. There simply insn't enough people to shoot the huge deer numbers and this would only work on Red Deer on shooting estates, what about all the Roe Deer numbers breeding like crazy on peoples land? They wouldn't want men coming in armed with shotguns. Instead if we introduced the Lynx, a secretive forest hunter that poses no thret to humans and doesn't eat livestock, they would keep the population down and make them move more so not to overgraze the forest.

There has been and always will be environmental problems, the time to act is now, the implications to the environment would be staggering and biodiversity would skyrocket, solving the current ecological crisis. If your methods work, tell me why we have these problems as we have attempted this.

I don't have another oppurtunity to argue, but rewilding is my passion and I believe its 100% achievable. Any further arguments I have to make will be posted in the comments.

For more information please see these links;



As I feel that my points still remain uninhibited due to a lack of substantial rebuttals posted by my opponent in the final round, I will simply defend my solution one more time.

We are not opening an amusement park here. We would only need to post one or two guards on roads entering the hunting grounds for the sole purpose of checking for licenses on the way in and the approved number of deer hunted on the way out. I can't imagine that these few positions that need to be filled could possibly outnumber the enormous amount of people it would take to capture, restrain, inspect, transport, monitor and regulate these predators. As for the problem of not having a large population interested in hunting in the UK? Simply increase the amount of deer they're allowed to shoot and remove from the forest. This is a quick, easy, cheap,easy-to-regulate and practical option. True, we should solve the environmental problems, but shouldn't we be focusing on global warming, polluted cities, or people chopping down the rain forests? This is an issue extremely low on the environmental priority list.

You mention that you have already tried this. I don't mean to insult you're credibility, but I cannot possibly believe this. I know for a fact that they haven't tried this on the deer population before partly because that would be such a major point that you wouldn't have left it for the last minute in the final round. Please do not report false information. People do hunt these deer for fun, but in no way have they ever tried to call an organized open-season like I'm proposing.

I thank the Proposition for this debate.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by brian_eggleston 3 years ago
Like it, nice idea.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Naysayer 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Neither side provided many sources in what should have been a fact laden debate. Con conceded at the end of R3 with an "It's complicated." response. I think a discussion on burden of proof would have been appropriate.
Vote Placed by Skynet 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Really? It's that bad in Scotland that you consider beavers megafauna? We've got plenty of experience with wild animal reintroduction in the U.S. to know it's fraught with problems when the predators DO go after people and domesticated animals, the species doesn't take, or it becomes invasive itself. It's not so easy as either of you seem to think with a hunting solution, or tracking, or any of that. Nutrias and constrictors swarm the swamps of the south, wolves endanger people on walks. Bears and elk in Yellowstone attract massive herds of slack-jawed mouth-breathers who want to pet and feed the giant WILD beasts. Hunting has limited effect against animals you do want to control, and tracking doesn't protect the animals you want to protect. Nature springs back on it's own pretty well, though. It does sound like you need animals in Scotland, but neither of you presented good plans for managing it.