Log in / Register
Home arrow Environment arrow Rewilding European Landscapes

A Future Outlook for Rewilding Europe

Rewilding Europe has presented a compelling vision about the historic opportunities that Europe is facing, and how we could make this a reality. With a mediaoutreach of more than 100 million people in the two first years, the initiative seems to capture the imagination of many Europeans (Schepers and Widstrand 2012). Support was received from all strands of society: local communities and governments, landowners, hunters, scientists, NGOs, EU Parliamentarians, local entrepreneurs and top business people. Practical work is starting: the first releases of key species, wildlife tourism developments, and small legal achievements. Nonetheless, most of the work is still in a stage of studying or negotiation with stakeholders. Between vision and practice there is a lot to do, and which needs a lot of support. The coming years will prove if Rewilding Europe can bridge the gap between vision and practice. 'Making it real' is therefore the slogan for the coming years.

Key for a successful continuation of the programme is a prosperous start of the several large scale projects that are on the way, such as the first European community conservancy in the Danube Delta (26,000 ha) and some agreements on better hunting practices in Velebit and Western Iberia, on a scale of tens of thousands of hectares, proving that the scale that Rewilding Europe is pursuing is not unrealistic. Just as important is a successful start up of some serious rewilding enterprises with a consistent spin-off, such as the European Safari Company and related enterprises in the rewilding areas, showing that an alternative rural economy can really be build in abandoned areas. Furthermore a careful selection of the next four pilot areas (completing the 'Rewilding 10 of Europe' objective in 2014) will help the initiative to illustrate that opportunities for rewilding exist in every corner of Europe.

Finally it's crucial to build on a strong relation between the local teams that do most of the work, and a central team that facilitates them in their rewilding, communication and enterprise activities. Rewilding Europe believes that real change can only come from ownership and leadership of those organizations and entities that nominated their areas to become part of the wider initiative.


Burton, A. (2011). Where the wisents roam. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 9(2), 140–140.

Coleman, A., & Aykroyd, T. (2009). Wild Europe and large natural habitat areas. (Conference Proceedings). Prague, Czech Republic.

Decker, S. E., Bath, A. J., Simms, A., Lindner, U., & Reisinger, E. (2010). The return of the king or bringing snails to the garden? The human dimensions of a proposed restoration of European Bison ( Bison bonasus) in Germany. Restoration Ecology, 18(1), 41–51. doi:10.1111/j.1526– 100X.2008.00467.x.

Deinet, S., Ieronymidou, C., McRae, L., Burfield, I. J., Foppen, R. P., Collen, B., & Bohm, M. (2013). Wildlife comeback in Europe: The recovery of selected mammal and bird species. Final report to Rewilding Europe by ZSL, BirdLife International and the European Bird Census Council, London, UK.

EC. (2008). Poverty and social exclusion in rural areas (p. 243). European Commission—DG employment, social affairs and equal opportunities.

Enserink, M., & Vogel, G. (2006). The carnivore comeback. Science, 314(5800), 746.

Geneletti, D., & van Duren, I. (2008). Protected area zoning for conservation and use: A combination of spatial multicriteria and multiobjective evaluation. Landscape and Urban Planning, 85(2), 97–110.

Goderie, R., Helmer, W., Kerkdijk-Otten, H., & Widstrand, S. (2013). The aurochs, born to be wild

(p. 160). The Netherlands: Roodbont.

Hochtl, F., Lehringer, S., & Konold, W. (2005). “Wilderness”: What it means when it becomes a reality—a case study from the southwestern Alps. Landscape and Urban Planning, 70(1–2), 85–95. doi:10.1016/j.landurbplan.2003.10.006.

Keenleyside, C., & Tucker, G. (2010). Farmland abandonment in the EU: An assessment of trends and prospects. WWF Netherlands and IEEP.

Kuemmerle, T., Perzanowski, K., Chaskovskyy, O., Ostapowicz, K., Halada, L., Bashta, A. T., & Radeloff, V. C. (2010). European bison habitat in the Carpathian mountains. Biological Conservation, 143(4), 908–916.

Linnartz, L., & Meissner, R. (2014). Rewilding horses in Europe. Background and guidelines—a living document. Rewilding Europe, The Netherlands.

Lupp, G., Höchtl, F., & Wende, W. (2011). “Wilderness”—A designation for central European landscapes? Land Use Policy, 28(3), 594–603.

Pinto-Correia, T., & Mascarenhas, J. (1999). Contribution to the extensification/intensification debate: New trends in the Portuguese montado. Landscape and Urban Planning, 46(1–3), 125–131.

Russo, D. (2006). Effects of land abandonment on animal species in Europe: Conservation and management implications. Italy: Università degli Studi de Napoli Federico, Napoli.

Sandom, C. J., Hughes, J., & Macdonald, D. W. (2013). Rooting for Rewilding: Quantifying wild boar's sus scrofa rooting rate in the Scottish highlands. Restoration Ecology, 21(3), 329–335. doi:10.1111/j.1526–100X.2012.00904.x.

Schepers, F., & Widstrand, S. (2012). Rewilding Europe: Annual review (p. 60). The Netherlands:

Rewilding Europe.

Sylven, M., Wijnberg, B., Schepers, F., & Teunissen, T. (2010). Rewilding Europe—Bringing the variety of life back to Europe's abandoned lands (p. 30). WWF.

Vlasakker, J. van de (2014). Bison Rewilding Plan 2014–2024. Rewilding Europe's contribution to the comeback of the European bison. The Netherlands.

Zhang, Z., Sherman, R., Yang, Z., Wu, R., Wang, W., Yin, M., & Ou, X. (2013). Integrating a participatory process with a GIS-based multi-criteria decision analysis for protected area zoning in China. Journal for Nature Conservation, 21(4), 225–240.

Found a mistake? Please highlight the word and press Shift + Enter  
< Prev   CONTENTS   Next >
Business & Finance
Computer Science
Language & Literature
Political science