Situated at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, the Rhodope Mountains are a unique ecosystem with a rich biological heritage. For more than 20 years, Stoycho Stoychev has been working to preserve this place that he calls home; the Bulgarian has long been considered a champion for the conservation of local wildlife.
This year the Danube Delta region experienced one of the harshest winters on record. Temperatures plummeted to -20°C, encasing landscapes in a thick coat of frozen water. Răzvan Crimschi, the Rewilding Officer of our Danube Delta team, lives in the Romanian village of Sfântu Gheorghe. Here he shares with us the experience of life in the delta’s spectacular winter landscape.
Twelve-year-old Zach Haynes, BBC Wildlife magazine’s inspirational junior blogger of the year, describes himself as a “small dude with a big love of nature”. Zach regularly writes about nature and his daily discoveries in his blog Year of Nature. In this blog for Rewilding Europe, he talks to us about his love of wildlife, and reminds us how rewilding can always take place on a small, very personal scale.
Georg Messerer of Rewilding Europe’s Southern Carpathians team is based in the small Romanian town of Armenis. He believes wilder experiences can give everyone an appreciation of life.
On the face of it Scotland is fertile rewilding ground. From a human population of around 5.3 million, around one third of people live in just a handful of major cities, leaving the rest of Scotland’s 80,000 sq.km. sparsely populated by European standards.
In 2014, the wildlife monitoring team in the Western Iberia rewilding area placed a wildlife camera in the Faia Brava nature reserve, next to a carcass of a Maronesa cow that died naturally. The intention was to monitor the use of the carcass by scavengers and other animals. One day, the camera mysteriously disappeared from the location and was recently found intact but without power. The images discovered on the memory card revealed what really happened.
Working in Lapland’s great and wild outdoors shaped Håkan’s life for over 20 years. In 1994, he pioneered the concept of ecotourism in the region by launching his own company that he ran for 12 years, establishing contacts and building invaluable relationships along the way. Throughout this entire time, he kept it as a small-scale, down-to-earth initiative rooted in the local community, an ethos that he continues to hold dearly today.
I can easily say that for me September this year was the ‘bison month’. At the beginning of this month, I participated at the annual European bison conference in Poland where we discussed the status and progress on the return of Europe’s largest living land mammal. Then, I travelled all the way to Canada to show the North American bison conservationists what we are doing over here in Europe to support our own bison species, and learn from the work done on the American bison. It turns out that there are quite some similarities between our intercontinental stories about these iconic animals.