June 8, 2008

There's money in restocking biodiversity

Or so hope Scottish millionaire, Paul Lister, who is restocking his estate with bears, wolves, elk and wild boar, and plans to charge visitors to see them.

Well it worked for Steve Irwing.

THE howl of a wolf echoes through the glen, lumbering bears fish in the lochs and moose amble through the forest of native trees.

This is multimillionaire Paul Lister's vision for his estate in the Scottish Highlands, and his grand scheme is already under way.

Last year, the British businessman spent £ $33,000 buying a pair of moose, also known as European elk, in Sweden and flying them to Scotland in a chartered plane.

Hulda and Hercules now roam a bracken and heather-carpeted 180-hectare enclosure in the Alladale Wilderness Reserve, alongside newly released wild boar.

His aim is to restore a section of the deforested and depopulated highlands to its former glory by releasing into his vast reserve native species that have disappeared from the highlands, and to turn a profit by charging people to visit.

"Alladale is a restoration project," said Lister, 49, the son of the founder of British furniture retailer MFI.

"It's not about conservation - we haven't got a lot to conserve."

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