After more than 190 years the beaver is back in the Danube Delta. Rangers of the Biosphere Reserve found the first beaver lodge upstream Tulcea in January 2012. Two dead beavers were found already in 2011 in the central parts of the delta. The closest permanent population is found in the Ialomita River, originating from animals reintroduced from Germany to the Brasov region in 1989.
Rewilding Europe will now boost this natural recolonization by bringing in more animals, and sharing information to the people in the delta in order to prepare the local communities for the beaver comeback. A night camera will be set up close to the lodge, allowing people to follow the life of the beavers on Facebook, on the websites of WWF-Romania, the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve, and elsewhere.
Mapping of the landownership in the outer delta will be completed by the end of May, with focus on two communities (C. A. Rosetti and Sfantu Gheorghe), which expressed strong interest in creating wildlife conservancies to boost economic development. The first steps to stimulate conservation enterprise development have been taken in collaboration with existing businesses in the delta and the local Chamber of Commerce.
Current livestock situation in the outer delta has been documented and special studies will be launched on the famous wild living horses in and around the Letea Forest at the heart of the delta.
In mid-May, Rewilding Europe will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve (the management authority for the Romanian part of the delta) to work together on beavers, natural grazing (including the Letea horses and red deer reintroduction), and development of wildlife conservancies in the communities of C. A. Rosetti and Sfantu Gheorghe.
Together with the work in Eastern Carpathians and Velebit, the Danube Delta will serve as a pioneer example for rewilding UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserves.