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.
This October, a group of volunteers from the Associação Transumância e Natureza (ATN), partner of Rewilding Europe in Western Iberia, participated in a work camp where they recovered a ruined house in Ribeira do Mosteiro nature reserve. The restoration of the property will continue and once finished, ATN will use the house for their various activities.
In September, Rewilding Europe released its first promotional film about creating a wilder Europe. Canon France sponsored this film produced by Emmanuel Rondeau, a French cinematographer and film producer from White Fox Pictures. Emmanuel used the new CANON EOS-1D X Mark II camera to show its various features and the innovative filming technology. The promotional film has been seen by many people all across the world, and was received very well. Emmanuel also produced a short film that takes you behind the scene where Emmanuel gives his feedback on Canon’s new flagship DSLR.
Over the last four months, I have been doing my internship in the Southern Carpathians rewilding area in Romania. This internship was part of my Master study of Biology at the Wageningen University in The Netherlands. One of my professors connected me with Rewilding Europe where he suggested to me to check out their rewilding project in the Southern Carpathians. After being in touch with the Romanian rewilding team, it became clear that they could really use an intern student this summer, so I went for it!
Being one of two Regional Managers for Rewilding Europe, Deli is a key figure in making rewilding a reality in five areas stretching from Portugal all the way to Bulgaria on Europe’s eastern fringe. As the main point of liaison between the central office and local teams across the continent, it is his job to ensure that rewilding manifests itself as real action on the ground, and that local communities are going to be better off as a result.
Faced with economic and environmental pressures, the Sami people of Swedish Lapland are abandoning their traditional way of life. By developing partnerships that unite nature, culture and business, Rewilding Lapland is now working to offer them a more sustainable future.