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: Good news for European wildlife



From: Luke Dale-Harris, The Ecologist, More from this Affiliate
Published October 8, 2013 06:16 AM

Good news for European wildlife

From Eastern Europe, Luke Dale-Harris argues that the extent to which the findings of a recently published report can be considered positive depend on one's perspective of rewilding.........

A couple of weeks ago the unusual happened. Europe received positive news about the environment. Not just a claim that maybe things aren't quite as bad as we previously thought, but the release of a report which shows, quite clearly, that for many species across large swathes of Europe, things haven't been better for decades.

Commissioned by the Netherland's based Rewilding Europe and based on over fifty years of monitoring from across the EU, the Wildlife Comeback report details the populations of 38 bird and mammal species, from the imperial eagle to the common crane, the brown bear to the Eurasian beaver.

Without exception, the overall European population of all has risen, sometimes as dramatically as by 3000%. And there are more, claims Frans Scheper, manager of Rewilding Europe. "At least a hundred species would show similar trends, but the limits of time and resources meant that, for the moment, these (38 species) are all we could focus on."

In the west of Europe, the report was met with almost unanimous approval from both the press and the public; unsurprising, perhaps, given the relentless negativity that we have come to expect from environmental news. But its significance goes further than this. Rewilding as a concept has been growing rapidly in popularity among environmentalists in recent years. It is based on the idea that, given the right ingredients and then left to its own devices, the ecosystem will restore itself to its natural equilibrium; something far richer and more diverse than anything we consider as 'wild' today.

Imperial Eagle image via Shutterstock.

Read more at ENN Affiliate, The Ecologist.

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