Rewilding Europe is delighted to welcome three new members (from Scotland, Spain and Poland) to the European Rewilding Network. Displaying impressive growth since its launch at WILD10 in Salamanca in October 2013, the network now comprises 57 members from 25 European countries (including Rewilding Europe’s eight operational areas).
Rewilding Europe shares the concerns of the Vulture Conservation Foundation and BirdLife International that Europe’s vultures are now at extremely high risk. Rewilding Europe supports their efforts for banning veterinary diclofenac in Europe. Both organizations have sent to the EU Commission and the EU member states a formal request for them to start a Referral procedure for a withdrawal of marketing authorization of veterinary diclofenac under Article 35 of Directive 2001/82/EC, based on its risks for vulture populations in Europe.
The enterprise component of Rewilding Europe is all about the people we are working with to create rewilding enterprises in our rewilding areas. In order for rewilding to succeed, it has to bring benefits for the people who live in those areas. If local people feel the benefits this pleases politicians – and this means a more favourable political climate for rewilding.
The European Rewilding Network has officially been launched on October 9 during WILD10, the World Wilderness Congress in Salamanca, Spain. Our aim is to build a living network of many rewilding initiatives supporting rewilding in Europe as a conservation tool and as something to learn from and get inspired by.
The latest harvest of lucky winners in our rapidly growing Travel Club were drawn on June 3rd at the Campanarios lodge in the Western Iberia rewilding area, during the Rewilding Europe Supervisory board meeting. The winners were drawn by Odíle Rodriguez de la Fuente, Frans Schepers, Wiet de Bruijn, Henrique Pereira, Carlota Pérez and Carlos Sánchez.
Since many years I am dedicated to the conservation of nature and for almost a year I work with passion as Rewilding Manager at Rewilding Europe. Last months, an experience in nature and a notice in the newspaper made me think through a rewilding perspective.
On December 14, the last day of the successful Madrid Wild Wonders exhibition, Spain’s first ever Rewilding seminar was held at the Cañada Real Wildlife Park in El Escorial outside Madrid, under the headline “Making Iberia a Wilder Place”. The theme all through the day was how to turn present problems into opportunities for people and for nature.
The Iberian lynx conservation efforts are giving very good results this year. 60 cubs were born in five breeding facilities in Spain and Portugal this spring, and 44 are still alive. This is the highest number of gestated pups from the beginning of the ex-situ breeding program and gives a total of 115 cubs since 2005.
Since a few years, I was hearing stories from friends that it was fairly easy to see Iberian lynx in the wild. I thought this was quite remarkable for such a rare and elusive cat, however with a couple of friends we decided to try our luck in February this year, a time of year when the species is very active and territorial.
The Iberian Peninsula is one of the oldest inhabited territories in Europe. In Western Iberia man always lived in and with nature resulting in a spectacular landscape with dehesas, mountain ridges and valleys with steep cliffs. Right now, the situation is changing.