Native Animals Re-Introduced Into Europe

In order to protect natural ecosystems and to bring back natural biodiversity, animals that have become extinct or are threatened and endangered in the wild, are placed into captive breeding programmes for the purpose of being bred and released. This helps to help strengthen and increase natural populations and their associated ecosystems. 

Below you will find an alphabetical list of 10 different animal species bred for re-introduction and release into both the UK and Europe. If you have identified any of these animals in the wild in the UK, then please do get in touch to Report Your Sighting today. 


Latin Name: Crex Crex
Importance: Biodiversity

The Corncrake migrates from Africa to breed in Eurasia, but over the past 150 years numbers have seen a steep decline. In the 1990's they ceased breeding in the UK, so in 2001 we began breeding & release programmes. 

"Corncrake's cry returns to the English countryside" - The Telegraph, June 2008

Learn more about Corncrake Reintroduction

Eurasian Beaver 

Latin Name: Castor Fiber
Importance: Wetland Management

The Beaver was hunted for it's pelt, meat & scent glands until the 14th century, when it became extinct in the UK. They were re-introduced here in 2008 & have begun to thrive ever since. 

"Scotland wild beaver reintroduction trial 'an outstanding success'" The Guardian, May 2014


Learn more about Beaver Reintroduction

Eurasian Lynx 

Latin Name: Lynx Lynx
Importance: Forest Management

The Lynx became extinct in the UK in medieval times as a result of hunting and loss of habitat due to farming practices. They have been successfully re-introduced in Europe & projects have begun for re-introduction in the UK. 

"Wild Lynx could be reintroduced to the British countryside after 1,300 years" - The Independent, October 2015

Learn more about Lynx Reintroduction

European Bison

Latin Name: Bison Bonasus
Importance: Grassland & Soil Management

Bison existed in the UK & across Europe until 1919 when the last European Bison was hunted into extinction. Captive populations exist in the UK & after successful reintroduction in Europe, discussion is under way for their reintroduction here. 

"Scottish bison to be re-introduced to the wild" - The Scotsman, April 2014

European Bison

Learn more about Bison Reintroduction


Latin Name: Ursus Arctos
Importance: Forest Management

The brown bear became extinct through over-hunting in UK in 1000 AD. They have been successfully re-introduced in Europe & plans have now begun for their re-introduction into other parts of Europe.

"Make way for the Lynx and the Bear as 'rewilding' projects gather pace across Britain"- The Guardian, May 2015

European Brown Bear

Learn more about Brown Bear Reintroduction

Eurasian Wolf (Common Wolf)

Latin Name: Canis Lupus Lupus
Importance: Biodiversity

The wolf became extinct in the UK as a result of an imposed compulsory hunting act in 1888. They have been successfully re-introduced in Europe & discussion has begun for plans on re-introduction in the UK. 

"Back into the wild. Is it time for wolf pack's to roam the Highlands again?" - The Independent, September 2015

Grey Wolf

Learn more about Wolf Reintroduction

Pine Martin

Latin Name: Martes Martes
Importance: Biodiversity

The Pine Marten was hunted to extinct due to the fur trade around 200 years ago. They were successfully re-introduced into Scotland in 1997 and efforts continue across the UK today. 

"Persecuted Pine Marten may make a return to England" - The Independent, September 2000

Pine Marten

Learn more about Pine Marten Reintroduction

Red Squirrel

Latin Name: Sciurus Vulgaris
Importance: Forest Management

The Red Squirrel became severely threatened in the UK as a result of habitat loss & competition with the invasive Grey Squirrel. In 2010, the first successful reintroduction project began & efforts continue today.

"Red Squirrels to be reintroduced to England"- The Telegraph, June 2010

Red Squirrel

Learn more about Red Squirrel Reintroduction

Scottish Wildcat

Latin Name: Felis Silvestris Grampia
Importance: Biodiversity

The Scottish Wildcat is the last remaining wild cat in the UK. Habitat loss, competition & persecution have caused dramatic declines in numbers & fewer than 100 remain in the wild. Reintroduction plans have proven problematic, but efforts continue.  

"Lottery funding for new efforts to save Scottish Wildcats" - The BBC, September 2013

Scottish Wildcat

Wild Boar


Latin Name: Sus Scrofa
Importance: Soil & Forest Management

The wild boar were hunted to extinction in the UK by the end of the 16th Century. Reintroduction was not a planned event and has proved problematic. Strict licencing & management plans are in place for current projects.  

"Here comes trouble: the return of the wild boar to Britain" - The Guardian, March 2012

Wild Boar

Learn more about Wild Boar Reintroduction