Since 2015, Rewilding Europe works in partnership with The Taurus Foundation in the so-called Tauros Programme. This programme aims to bring back the aurochs as a functional wild animal, by back-breeding the closest relatives of the original aurochs. The aurochs is the ancestor of all cattle and thereby the most important animal in the history of mankind. It is also a keystone species for many European ecosystems but was hunted to its extinction in 1627. However, its DNA is still alive but distributed among a number of the ancient original cattle breeds.
Grazing the landscapes of Europe, the auroch – Europe’s original wild bovine species – once played a vital role in maintaining biodiversity. Today, nearly four centuries after the animal’s extinction, pioneering efforts by Rewilding Europe and the Taurus Foundation are seeing this beneficial herbivore brought back to life. This new animal is called ‘Tauros’.
The breeding programme is founded on a broad, multidisciplinary scientific base, including geneticists, ecologists, molecular biologists, archaeologists, archaeo-zoologists, historians, isotope experts, cattle experts and European cattle breeding organizations.
The breeding activities started in The Netherlands in 2009 and through our partnership, we are now also working in three rewilding areas: Greater Côa Valley (Portugal), Velebit Mountains (Croatia) and Danube Delta (Romania/Ukraine).
European Bison Conservation Center
Founded in 2007, the European Bison Conservation Center currently consists of a network of about 200 members, with a coordinating office located at the European Bison Friends Society in Warsaw, Poland. It also has regional centers or representatives in Germany, Poland, Scandinavia, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Russia, Belarus, Hungary and Czech Republic. Legally, EBCC is linked to the European Bison Friends Society, also based in Warsaw. The European Bison Pedigree Book, which tries to keep track of all individuals of the species and their ancestry and genealogy, is an autonomous entity linked to EBCC through a specific agreement. EBCC works closely with the IUCN/SSC Bison Specialist Group and with breeders and owners of European bison across Europe.
BirdLife Europe and Central Asia
BirdLife Europe and Central Asia is one of the six regional offices of BirdLife International, a global Partnership of autonomous, national non-governmental conservation organisations, with a large grassroots membership in 122 countries and territories. BirdLife International’s mission is to conserve wild birds, their habitats and global biodiversity, by working with people in their communities towards sustainability in the use of natural resources.
BirdLife Europe and Central Asia is a formal partner with Rewilding Europe, working together on the project “Promoting and shaping the EU restoration agenda, including TEN-G, through mobilisation of rewilding principles to create a coherent ecological network in Europe” (2017–2019). Funded by WWF Netherlands, this partnership represents a collaboration between Rewilding Europe, BirdLife Europe and Central Asia, the WWF European Policy Office, the European Environmental Bureau and German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv). This project came to a conclusion in March 2020, influencing the new EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030 under the EU Green Deal.
BirdLife Europe & Central Asia has also partnered with Rewilding Europe to produce the first Wildlife Comeback Report in Europe in 2013. In 2020, this partnership has been renewed to develop an updated version of this report, as well as scientific publications, due in 2022.
European Bird Census Council
The European Bird Census Council (EBCC) is an association under Dutch Law of like-minded expert ornithologists co-operating in a range of ways to improve bird monitoring and atlas work and thereby inform and improve the management and conservation of bird populations in Europe.
EBCC partnered with Rewilding Europe to produce the first Wildlife Comeback Report in Europe in 2013, by providing data and technical knowledge for this publication. In 2020, the partnership has been renewed to develop an updated version of this report, as well as scientific publications, due in 2022.
Dam Removal Europe
The overall ambition of Dam Removal Europe is to restore rivers in Europe that have high natural or cultural importance. Currently, there are many of these rivers in Europe that are fragmented by obsolete dams and weirs. By removing these barriers, we can once again have healthy free-flowing rivers full of fishes for all to benefit.
Dam Removal Europe is a project that allows relevant specialists to connect with one another, share knowledge and inspire new visions for a free-flowing Europe.
The Global Rewilding Alliance was formed in 2020 and is currently a growing network of more than 115 practitioner and messenger organizations. Together, we work in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America, North America and globally to rewild more than 100 million hectares of land and sea in more than 70 countries.
A world where restored wild lands and seas provide a secure future for people, nature and the planet. The Global Rewilding Alliance is mobilizing the power of people working together to rewild the Earth and stabilize the climate.
The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration is a rallying call for the protection and revival of ecosystems all around the world, for the benefit of people and nature. It aims to halt the degradation of ecosystems, and restore them to achieve global goals. Only with healthy ecosystems can we enhance people’s livelihoods, counteract climate change, and stop the collapse of biodiversity.
The UN Decade runs from 2021 through 2030, which is also the deadline for the Sustainable Development Goals and the timeline scientists have identified as the last chance to prevent catastrophic climate change.
Led by the United Nations Environment Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, The UN Decade is building a strong, broad-based global movement to ramp up restoration and put the world on track for a sustainable future. That will include building political momentum for restoration as well as thousands of initiatives on the ground.
Vultures are a vital yet vulnerable part of European wild nature. The partnership between Rewilding Europe and the Vulture Conservation Foundation will enhance essential support for European vulture conservation and rewilding.
EarthRanger is a user-friendly, online platform, developed by Vulcan Inc. to help protected area managers, ecologists and wildlife biologists stay informed and make better wildlife conservation-related decisions. It has so far been rolled out in the Velebit Mountains, Rhodope Mountains, Greater Côa Valley and Southern Carpathians, with data now regularly uploaded to the system by local rewilding teams. It will be deployed in the remaining rewilding areas in 2021. The deployment of EarthRanger software across all of Rewilding Europe’s operational areas will allow rewilding teams to keep better track of wildlife, thereby enhancing rewilding outcomes.
NaturaConnect aims to design and develop a blueprint for a truly coherent Trans-European Nature Network (TEN-N) of conserved areas that protect at least 30% of land in the European Union, with at least one third of it under strict protection. Within the initiative, Rewilding Europe collaborates with universities and research institutes, government bodies and non-governmental organisations and key stakeholders. Together we aim to create targeted knowledge and tools, and build the capacity needed to support European Union Member States in realising an ecologically representative, resilient and well-connected network of conserved areas across Europe.