A fresh sunny autumn morning in the late October of 2013 in the Studen Kladenets (Cold Well) Game Reserve in South-East Bulgaria. The colours of the trees are like the design of blankets made by the locals in this region: from green through yellow and reddish to brown. The morning haze is slowly moving from the top of the Yumruk Skala (Feast Rock) down to the smaller hills. The narrow asphalt road along the recently fenced area of a few hectares is almost completely blocked by cars and people.
Rewilding Europe has started with the design of a Wildlife Recovery Programme, focusing on large herbivores to start with. A working group of dedicated specialists, Rewilding Europe’s Wildlife Team, has prepared an overview of all the wildlife restocking and reintroduction plans that we have developed for the five projects. Four species were selected to focus on: European bison, European wild horse, Aurochs and kulan.
From the very fragmented, small-landowner landscape in northeastern Portugal, we suddenly come into a big, already quite raw and wild-looking area: the 600 hectare Faia Brava private nature reserve, in the dramatic Côa valley. This is Portugal’s first private reserve and it is owned by Associaçâo Transumância e Natureza, who is working to rewild it, taking away all extractive use and bringing back lost wildlife, as well as protecting the already existing precious locally breeding wildlife: the Bonelli’s eagle, the golden eagle, griffon vulture, Egyptian vulture, eagle owl etc. And taking care of the cultural heritage sites in the reserve as well.