Page last updated at 23:42 GMT, Sunday, 18 October 2009 00:42 UK

Wolves debate turned into a play

Wolves were hunted to extinction in Scotland

The debate on whether wolves should be reintroduced to Scotland has been turned into a play.

Playwright Samantha Ellis's The Last Wolf in Scotland will get its first public performance on Friday during a meeting on wilderness areas.

The Wildland Research Institute at the University of Leeds will also host a talk by Highlands wildlife expert Roy Dennis during its conference.

Wolves were driven to extinction in Scotland in the 18th Century.

Ms Ellis began work on the play after reading about Aboriginal women in Australia protesting against the reintroduction of crocodiles.

Last year, charity the Wolves and Humans Foundation said a "serious debate" had to be held on the potential impact of reintroducing wild wolves to the Scottish Highlands.

At the time Richard Morley, of the Wolves and Humans Foundation, forecast that public support for the move would grow over the next 15 years.

Wolf trap

The remains of a wolf trap found in a forest were recently added to a database of historic sites.

It is believed the trap at Moy, near Inverness, dates from between the 16th and 18th centuries.

Wolves were lured by bait onto a carefully weighted plank above a deep pit covered with brush wood.

The trap is listed on Highland Historic Environment Record run by Highland Council.

The wolf trap entry includes information gleaned from the Statistical Account of 1838 for the Moy and Dalarossie Parish.

Wolves were thought to have been hunted to extinction in Scotland in the 1700s.

Wilderness map

A carved stone by the side of the A9 near Brora claims to mark the site where the last wolf in Sutherland was killed by a man called Polson in 1700.

According to research done by Glasgow Zoo, now closed, the wolf was regarded as a common enemy.

Chieftains and royalty led hunts for the animals.

One attended by Queen Mary in 1563 employed 2,000 Highlanders and ended in the deaths of five wolves and 360 deer.

Huge swathes of forest in Perthshire, Lochaber and Argyll were systematically destroyed to deprive wolves of their habitat.

Meanwhile, the Wildland Research Institute is also working with the John Muir Trust to develop a map of wilderness in Scotland for planning and policy purposes.

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