Tag Archives: POland

The Resurgence of the European Bison

Back in 1927, Europe’s largest land animal became extinct in the wild following centuries of habitat loss and overhunting.  A dozen individuals in captivity were subsequently bred across five zoos in the hope that one day, a viable population could be re-established.  Now in 2015, there are over 5500 Wisent – to use their correct European name – of which more than 2700 are in truly wild, free-ranging herds.  The magnificently primeval Bialowieza Forest which stretches across the border between Poland and Belarus, is once again a stronghold for them – having been home to 11 of the 12 Wisent removed during the early 20th Century to save the entire species.

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Rewilding Europe Gains Eighth Wilderness Site

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The Oder Delta, which straddles the border between Germany and Poland, is the latest habitat to form part of Rewilding Europe’s ambitious plan to rewild one million hectares of land by 2022 over ten designated regions. The area, which is comprised mainly of lagoons and wetlands, is home to the greatest density of White-tailed Eagles in Europe. Other key species of the delta include: Beaver, Bison, Wolf, Moose, Atlantic Sturgeon and Grey Seal. Large areas of land have been set aside for natural restoration and the species seem to be thriving.
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REWILDING EUROPE’S LATEST WILDERNESS SITE ANNOUNCED

The Rhodope Mountains in Bulgaria have become the seventh addition to this growing initiative, which exists to restore the continent’s bio-diversity and natural processes and essentially make our countries wilder places for the benefit of wildlife and humankind.  The movement’s aim is to have ten of these rewilding areas in place by 2022.  The other sites already signed up to the project include:  Western Iberia in Portugal, the Central Apennines in Italy, the Danube Delta in Romania, the Southern Carpathians in Romania, Velebit in Croatia and the Eastern Carpathians of Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine.  To find out more about the Rewilding movement, click the link below.

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WILD WOLVES RETURN TO DENMARK FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 200 YEARS

Following a number of sightings since 2012, researchers have now gathered enough D.N.A – based evidence to officially confirm their permanent existence in Denmark’s Jutland peninsula.  However the news is tempered by the fact that no firm proof of breeding females or pups has been found, so the sustainability of the current group is in doubt.  It is thought a small number of male wolves travelled over the German border in search of new territories: their existence back in Germany is also relatively recent, with a first sighting back in 1996.  They are thought to have spread from Poland and now number over 150.  Centuries ago, wolves were widespread across the whole of Europe, before farming viewed them as a threat to their livestock and dramatically reduced their numbers, along with industrialisation and deforestation.

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REWILDING TO CURE ECOLOGICAL BOREDOM

The video above is of a talk given by George Monbiot- one of the Rewilding movement’s most vocal and well-informed supporters.  His thoughts encapsulate this relatively new concept and make a compelling case for the reintroduction of forgotten fauna into our wildernesses.  It is a hot topic just now in the United Kingdom.  I would personally relish the prospect of seeing the highlands of Scotland for instance reforested and welcome back wildlife such as Eurasian Lynx, Wolf, Wolverine and Wild Boar.  Just look at mainland Europe and the biodiversity of primeval forests in countries such as Croatia, Poland and Romania where the landscape has been allowed to naturally develop without human interference.