Juan Carlos Muños Robredo / Rewilding Europe

Making Europe a Wilder Place

Bison grazing at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains, wild horses galloping across the Iberian Peninsula, brown bears wandering the hillsides just outside of Rome. Wait, what century are we talking about?

Since 2011, Rewilding Europe has identified areas where wildlife and biodiversity easily could make a comeback, often in places that are witnessing human population decline due to migration to urban centers. The foundation’s philosophy is that nature knows best when it comes to survival and self-governance.

Yet the systems in these abandoned lands are often damaged, so Rewilding Europe works on creating the right conditions – such as by removing dykes and dams to free up rivers, by stopping active management of wildlife populations, by allowing natural forest regeneration, and by reintroducing species that have disappeared as a result of man’s actions.

Today, Rewilding Europe is running their projects all across Europe. This year, the organization could welcome its 66th network member, Life Primed, an EU-funded project that will work on the rewilding and restoration of the Palo Laziale woods in central Italy, and the delta of the Nestos River in Greece. Both sites are included in Natura 2000, the world’s largest coordinated network of protected areas consisting of core breeding and resting sites for rare and threatened species.


Photo: Juan Carlos Muños Robredo / Rewilding Europe


Jonathan Fraenkel-Eidse