Tag Archives: Rewilding Europe

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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Reflecting on Rewilding

So today’s thought of the day is a brief amalgamation of contemplations surrounding the issue of rewilding – an ideology that’s stirred up a lot of mostly healthy debate about how to go about restoring our deficient and degraded ecosystems in Britain.
As an advocate of this cause, having spent countless hours walking through barren habitats devoid of nutrients and any sign of wildness, I’ve been watching the discussions unfold with great interest.  My first observation: it’s really captured the imagination of the country and got the masses talking about our wildlife, its conservation and how we can improve it for the future, so that can only be a good thing.  But as the commentary gathers pace, I’m increasingly hearing misguided and ill-informed opinion on the matter, including…

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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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Here’s an interesting and illuminating discussion from BBC radio on the subject of rewilding, which is an ecological movement that’s gradually working its way into public discourse, especially here in Britain.  Feel free to share your views on the issue below.
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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.