The second gala of the German Postcode Lottery, held in Wuppertal on January 29, saw the Oder Delta rewilding team receive a second annual grant in support of their rewilding efforts, with human-grey seal conflict mitigation a priority.
Rewilding Europe are delighted to announce that the second gala of the German Postcode Lottery, held on January 29 in the city of Wuppertal, saw the Rewilding Oder Delta team receive 50,000 euros. Ulrich Stöcker, the Rewilding Oder Delta team leader on the German side of the delta and head of the Nature Conservation Department at German NGO Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH), collected a cheque for 99,200 euros, of which half will be used to support rewilding projects in the Rewilding Oder Delta area. Much of the funding will be used to mitigate human-grey seal conflict.
“We are deeply grateful to the German Postcode Lottery for their ongoing support,” says Stöcker. “This funding will enable us to continue our critical rewilding efforts, with a particular focus on enhancing grey seal conflict management.”
The grey seal, one of the so-called “Big Seven” iconic species of the Oder Delta (the others are the white-tailed eagle, European bison, beaver, elk, wolf and Atlantic sturgeon), returned to Germany’s Baltic coast around 15 years ago, with an estimated current population of around 100 individuals. In 2018, the first grey seal pup was born here.
Despite this success, human-wildlife conflict involving grey seals continues in the German Baltic region, with fishermen accusing seals of damaging fishing nets and eating their catch. In 2017, a total of 23 young grey seals were found dead in the Greifswalder Bodden (Bay of Greifswald) area of the Baltic (located off Germany’s Mecklenburg-Vorpommern coast), with a strong suspicion of deliberate killing.
“The tragic death of these seals shows that we need to further strengthen regional acceptance of the species,” says Stöcker. “An effective management plan, developed in cooperation with the local fishing, tourism and nature conservation sectors, is an essential step towards mitigating conflict and growing a nature-based economy that builds on the comeback of these beautiful animals.”
The Oder Delta is a wild and complex jigsaw of habitats that includes naturally flowing rivers, heathlands, deltas, marshes, vast reed beds, alluvial and riparian forests, wild grasslands, bogs, coastal dunes, sand beaches and the open sea. The efforts of the Rewilding Oder Delta team focus on supporting wildlife comeback (such as grey seals), restoring fish populations, and developing nature-based economies. More information is available on the Rewilding Europe website here.
The German Postcode Lottery (Deutsche Postcode Lotterie), which launched in 2016, allocates 30 percent of the ticket price to charitable causes that focus on education, social cohesion, human rights, and animal and environmental protection. The gala in Wuppertal saw almost 600 projects receive financial support totalling 10.35 million euros, representing nearly double the number of projects in 2017, and three times the funding disbursed in 2018.
The second gala of the German Postcode Lottery was held under the motto “sustainable”.
“Our mission and vision is a more socially and ecologically sustainable environment in Germany,” says Annemiek Hoogenboom, executive director of the German lottery. “We are delighted that our social lottery is growing and enabling us to reach milestones such as the extension of international financial support.”
- Read more about Rewilding Europe’s work in the Oder Delta here.
- Visit the Rewilding Oder Delta Facebook page here.
- View options for exploring the Oder Delta with the European Safari Company here.