Rewilding Europe is delighted to welcome a new member from Italy to the European Rewilding Network. Working to protect wolves in the Italian Alpine Arc region, the Return of the Wolf project takes the number of network members to 63, distributed right across Europe.
A succession of European Erasmus+ students are now volunteering with Italian NGO Salviamo l’Orso. As they make an invaluable contribution to Marsican brown bear conservation in the Central Apennines rewilding area, they are also learning from their experience.
Rewilding Europe’s writer and editor Daniel Allen spoke with Alexandros Karamanlidis, our regional manager and PhD wildlife biologist about the resurgence of apex predators across much of Europe, and the implications for conservation strategies and tourism.
During the bison monitoring conducted by the bison rangers in the Southern Carpathians last week, four of the 30 bison in Armeniș were found dead. The weakest bison in the herd were outcast by the rest of the group and as a result they became more vulnerable to predators. At least two of them were attacked by a pack of stray dogs that formed in the area.
On June 5 another event was held to share experience between members of the European Rewilding Network. This time the subject was about coexistence between people and large carnivores. This sixth web-based seminar included a presentation of two best-practice examples from areas with existing conflicts between local people and wildlife in Bulgaria and Spain. Webinar discussions focused on innovative methods as to how to mitigate human-wildlife conflicts, and turn such problems into new opportunities.
Large carnivores are among the most controversial and challenging species to conserve in our modern and crowded world. Despite this, the brown bear, the Eurasian lynx, the gray wolf and the wolverine today all have stable or increasing populations in Europe. The European situation showcases that it is possible for large carnivores and people to share the same landscapes.
Today, on World Environment Day, Rewilding Europe signed an agreement about joint practical efforts together with the Large Carnivore Initiative of Europe. The two organisations are going to work together over the coming years exploring pragmatic, practical ways to live side by side with these at times a bit difficult neighbours.
Anyone who has seen the film ‘Dances with wolves’ with Kevin Costner could easily get the false impression that wolves are cosy animals that you can even hug or dance with. Our young Boskarin bull, recently released in a small herd in the wild Velebit mountains in Croatia knows differently by now.
Denmark most probably now has its first wolf family since over two centuries! “Ulvetracking Danmark” (UD), a group of wolf enthusiasts in Denmark, have gone to great lengths to register the sounds of the Danish wolves, recorded in Jutland in January. Holly Root-Gutteridge, an English wolf expert and PhD student at Nottingham Trent University, believes that these howls stem from an entire wolf family. This means that Denmark in 2013 probably had its first wolf pups born in the wild for well over 200 years.
According to the Belgian TV-show “Dieren in nesten”, The European bison, the wolf, the brown bear, the wolverine, and the lynx are the “The Big 5 of Europe” – the continent’s five most impressive wild mammals. All these five are – and especially so the European bison which ranked as number 1 – among the symbolical species for Rewilding Europe and emblematic for the wildlife comeback in Europe.