Rewilding Europe completed its first ever translocation of water buffalo last week, with a herd of seven animals successfully released on Ermakov Island in the Ukrainian part of the Danube Delta. The hefty herbivores will create and maintain a mosaic landscape on the island – thereby supporting the area’s dynamic, wild nature – as well as driving development of local nature-based tourism.
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Held in the Gelderse Poort area of the Netherlands – an early showcase of European rewilding involving natural grazing – the three-day meeting sees GrazeLIFE project partners come together for the first time. Coordinated by Rewilding Europe, the three-year project will hopefully lead to increased EU legislative support for more natural grazing systems.
The three-year, pan-European project will evaluate the benefits of various land management models involving domesticated and wild/semi-wild herbivores. It will hopefully lead to more supportive EU policy and legislation.
Karakachan horse herds based in the Rhodope Mountains rewilding area are boosting local biodiversity through their free roaming grazing behaviour. Two new herd contracts begin their incorporation into the European Wildlife Bank.
This Wednesday, 20 Tauros safely arrived at the spectacular Lika Plains, Velebit rewilding area in Croatia, where they will join the existing herd in the largest Tauros breeding site of Rewilding Europe. Here, through natural grazing, wild-living herds of Tauros and horses restore natural processes. The impact of bovines on the landscape is already visible, while large predators in turn influence the behaviour of the large herbivores.
Last Saturday marked the opening ceremony of the photo exhibition “Velebit – Wild Heart of Croatia” in the medieval coastal city of Senj. The purpose of the exhibition is to promote Velebit Mountains as a must visit nature travel destination, demonstrate the value of wild nature and wildlife and show the local community the opportunities arising from the development of a nature-based economy.
On our cycle tour of rewilding areas in Europe, our third stop was Parc Naziunal Svizzer – the Swiss National Park. Established in 1914, it was the first national park in the Alps and by now one of the oldest national parks in Europe. It is one of the first members of the European Rewilding Network (ERN).
Two bulls of the Spanish breed Sayaguesa were transported from The Netherlands in mid October, to become a part of the Tauros Breeding Program in the Velebit mountains, Croatia.
Was Europe once dominated by closed-canopy forests, or instead rather by a mosaic landscape with a mixture of open and wooded areas, shaped by large numbers of wild large herbivores? This has long been debated but a recent study of beetle fossils in Great Britain, indicates that both opinions are probably right.
The period from July to October is a risky one in Western Iberia every year. You cannot imagine how high the temperatures can get and how scarce the rains most often are. This means a great risk of fire. Even if fire is a natural phenomenon here and has always been, the frequency has increased to very high and dangerous levels that are not natural. Not because of the climate, but rather because of humans and their habits.