Photograph via snooOG

Rewilding is the return of natural species and ecosystems to areas where they have been eradicated. This includes large-scale conservation aimed at restoring and protecting natural processes and core wilderness areas, providing connectivity between such areas, and protecting or reintroducing apex predators and keystone species. It also includes the return of wild plants and animals to spaces intended for humans, as well as the primitivist philosophy of rewilding humanity.

Rewilding is the return of natural species and ecosystems to areas where they have been eradicated. This includes large-scale conservation aimed at restoring and protecting natural processes and core wilderness areas, providing connectivity between such areas, and protecting or reintroducing apex predators and keystone species. It also includes the return of wild plants and animals to spaces intended for humans, as well as the primitivist philosophy of rewilding humanity.

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Happy Earth Day folks 馃實馃惓馃馃尡馃尣

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10:19 UTC




I keep adding episodes of my rewilding yard project. Think you will enjoy.

20:04 UTC


Two Additional Black-Footed Ferrets Born As a Result of Cloning

17:46 UTC


Hello! New to r/rewinding and looking to help where I can. Are there any rewilding projects going around southern New Hampshire?

12:56 UTC


Endangered Curlew return to Lough Scur, Leitrim. Recorded Breeding Pair in New Territory, Wild Irish Hare appears, then Curlew Mate

It is with enormous pleasure to say we have a new breeding pair of Curlew, establishing new territory at Lough Scur, County Leitrim, Ireland. They have been here over two weeks, same place, also captured an attempted mating (after a wild Irish Hare appeared!)

I am a VR filmmaker, and spent 3 weeks last year trying to record Curlew around Ireland, and they have now arrived on my doorstep. I can record without disturbing at all, this was recorded on a tablet sitting in my house, 30x zoom at 12 fps using my security camera. I have more VR, 2d and ambisonic recordings, and will be filming and monitoring their progress over the next few weeks. So hoping for Curlew Easter Eggs and Chicks.

I recorded their distinctive Melancholic whaup and bubbling calls on the 15th March 2024 with an ambisonic mic, you can hear stereo version at the start. Please remember this sound, keep your ears and eyes open, and help this tenacious species re-establish in Ireland, or it could be gone forever be gone forever.

I have been trying to record endangered and new species using VR video over the last year, I spent about 3 weeks trying to record Curlew around Leitrim and Ireland, eventually filmed some (at distance) in Youghal, for a commission shown at EarthRising Festival - Irish Museum of Modern Art.

I have been recording this pair in VR and 2D video, and with spatial microphone over the last 2 weeks. Will be combining the different footage formats in a VR video at a later date.

Curlew are renowned for being very hard to film, they disappear if disturbed, especially when breeding inland. This is my best video and audio of Curlew so far, and I filmed it on a tablet, sitting in my house (about 200 meters from their new territory!

View the Video here - Endangered Curlew return to Lough Scur Breeding Pair New Territory Mating Captured Wild Irish Hare https://youtu.be/FR9URDwFgqo

The video was captured from my security camera, at 30 x optical zoom, 12 fps, and used some digital Zoom 100-200%. Will be using this camera to capture the Curlew and wildlife we have at Lough Scur including Hares, Geese, Swans, Otters, Pine Martin, Deer, Horses and much more.

BTW - The last reported sighting of a Golden Eagle in Ireland was from here (Keshcarrigan), I think the eagle scared away the crows and magpies, allowing the Curlew to arrive. IB179920 https://www.irishbirding.com/birds/web?task=BasicBirdSightingSearch&offset=100&orderby=latestfirst&keywords=golden+eagle

21:05 UTC


These Wildlife Bridges Save Thousands of Animal Lives

14:14 UTC


Looking for Resources

I live in New Hampshire in the US, on about an acre and a half, with the last half being marshland.

The previous owners kept it very beautiful, but also with a lot of decorative non-native plants. I want to rewild the land, but when I look around I get really overwhelmed with where to even start.

Does anyone have book/podcast/magazine references with practical advice? Ideally something almost like a how to guide.

18:31 UTC


Native Plant News from March 2024

18:07 UTC



The tauros, a specially bred version of the long-extinct auroch cattle, is being introduced to Portugal's C么a Valley.

On a cold, misty morning, a herd of dun-coloured Sorraia horses, an endangered local breed, graze on grass and small shrubs, their short and stocky bodies enveloped in the mist by the C么a river in the mountains of northeastern Portugal. As the sun rises and the mist starts to dissipate, it unveils the deep gorges of the C么a Valley, where vultures and eagles nest on the cliffs.

Further south, a herd of large black and chestnut cattle with long horns run with agility. Known as tauros, these bovines are a specially bred version of the long-extinct auroch, the wild ancestor of the modern cow.

The horses and tauros were released by Rewilding Portugal, a non-profit organisation whose mission is to create a 1,200 sq km (463 sq miles) wildlife corridor along the C么a River, improving habitat connectivity between the Douro River in the north and the Malcata mountains in the south.

"We promote the coming back of wild species and replace the extinct ones, such as the auroch and the wild horse," says Pedro Prata, the head of Rewilding Portugal. Since it was established in 2019, the organisation has released two herds of 20 Sorraia horses and 15 tauros in an area spanning about 20 sq km (7.7 sq miles) to restore natural processes with natural grazing.

Return of the aurochs

Thousands of years ago, the wild ancestors of cattle and horses roamed freely across the C么a region, migrating in large herds and playing a key role in maintaining grassland ecosystems. The animals were so important that our ancestors decided to paint and engrave their images in caves and stones.

Along the C么a Valley, representations of aurochs, wild horses and other creatures dating back 24,000 years have been carved on the schist outcrops. The area boats one of the largest concentrations of Paleolithic open-air rock art, and is recognised as a Unesco World Heritage site.

With its long horns and massive body, the auroch features prominently in the engravings. Once the largest land mammals in Europe, aurochs went extinct in the 17th Century due to overhunting and habitat loss. The last of the species died in Poland in 1627; one of the first recorded cases of extinction.

But recent efforts are trying to bring back these mighty herbivores. Rewilding Portugal partnered with the Taurus Foundation, a Dutch organisation dedicated to breeding bovines that could thrive in Europe's wild landscapes.

"We wanted to develop a substitute for what aurochs used to be," says ecologist Ronald Goderie, director of the Taurus Foundation, who started a breeding programme in 2008. While the aurochs are extinct, their genes live on in domestic cattle.

The foundation has been using a method known as back-breeding to combine cattle breeds in southern Europe that still have some of the characteristics of their auroch ancestors: large stature, long legs, a slender build and big horns curved forward. "We combined primitive breeds to try to get the closest possible genetically to what the auroch once was," says Goderie. The goal is to create a wild bovine that can once again roam freely and that is prepared to deal with predators.

For millennia, grazing aurochs created open spaces for other species to thrive. As the closest to the extinct auroch depicted on the prehistoric engravings, Goderie says tauros can fulfil a similar ecological function that is vital for biodiversity. "Natural grazing will lead to more natural processes that are missing from local ecosystems, more habitats and more biodiversity," he says.

Environmental restoration

Kites hover over Prata's jeep as he drives through a mosaic of oak and pine forests, rocky heathlands and scattered vineyards, olive and almond groves along the C么a valley, stopping occasionally to pick up his binoculars.

"This land is marginal, the soil is poor and there is a lack of water. Summers are very harsh here and will get even worse with climate change. The landscape will become even less suitable for farming," says Prata, a biologist who grew up on a farm near the C么a river.

Production is so low on the rocky hillsides that over the last decades, many farmers abandoned the valley and it became one of the least inhabited places in Portugal. Prata also left as a young man to find better opportunities abroad. But the reasons why farming communities left were also what made Prata move back with a new vision for the region. Depopulation and land abandonment became an opportunity to bring nature back.

"We inherited a very degraded landscape. So we are proposing to let this landscape regenerate by rewilding," says Prata. The goal is not to recreate what the landscape once was, but to tap into the potential of what it could be.

By setting aside land and releasing key species, the organisation is promoting the return of large herbivores, scavengers and predators, such as imperial eagles, vultures, Iberian wolves and ibex and the Iberian lynx 鈥 the world's most endangered wildcat.

The initiative in Portugal is part of wider efforts led by Rewilding Europe, a non-profit established in 2011 that is supporting the coming back of wildlife and the restoration of ecological processes across the continent. Unlike traditional conservation, rewilding is not driven by human management but by natural processes.

"It's not just about letting nature be, because there are some elements of the ecosystems missing either habitats or processes or species that are important," says Prata. Instead, the hope is that releasing big herbivores will catalyse some of the natural processes that are missing and create the conditions which allow other species to thrive, he explains. "Large grazers are engineers. They engineer the distribution of plant species, recycle the nutrients and allow other species to use those nutrients."

Rewilding Portugal is closely monitoring fauna and flora and is already noticing the effects of releasing horses and tauros in the region. "First, we started seeing a lot of rabbits and partridge in the areas that were grazed," says Prata, as smaller herbivores can find protection from predators in horse and tauros herds. "Then we noticed changes in the composition of the plant species."

As they graze and trample the soil, large herbivores redistribute seeds and nutrients and make space for other plants to sprout. The grazed areas have more flower species, attract more pollinators and more predators. Birds can feed on the insects that the cattle attract and use their fur to build nests, as studies have shown elsewhere.

Data collected by Rewilding Portugal in partnership with the University of Aveiro in Portugal has revealed an increase in roe deer populations in the region. Conservation officer Sara Ali谩car says the expansion of deer and wild boar populations means there is more wild prey to sustain Iberian wolves in the region.

Studies have shown that natural grazing by large herbivores can help protect and restore vegetation mosaics with high levels of biodiversity and increase carbon sequestration. Grazers can also have an important role in mitigating the effects of climate change and reducing the risk of fire.

Climate resilience

As temperatures rise, the Mediterranean region is experiencing longer, more common and increasingly unpredictable fire seasons, outstripping the capacity for ecosystems to recover. Rural abandonment, bush encroachment and dense pine plantations have also made the C么a valley particularly vulnerable to large-scale fires.

"Herbivores help remove the biomass, which instead of accumulating is being returned to the soil," says Miguel Bastos Ara煤jo, a researcher specialising in the study of climate change effects on biodiversity at the University of Evora, Portugal, and a board member of Rewilding Portugal. By eating long grass and shrubs, grazers help the carbon shift from above-the-ground vegetation to the soil, boosting carbon storage and making ecosystems more resilient to fire.

"The C么a is a natural corridor that facilitates the adaptation of species, it allows species to migrate and serves as a highway of biodiversity," says Bastos Ara煤jo. But Rewilding Portugal's goal of establishing a 1,200 sq km (463 sq miles) corridor is still a long way ahead. Even though an archaeological park was established in the north of the C么a, to protect the Paleolithic engravings, and there is a nature reserve in the southern Malcata mountains, the vast majority of the land is privately owned.

"What we have at the moment is a highly fragmented landscape with a lot of fencing and private property that is an obstacle to large grazers," says Prata. "We brought back the animals that are depicted in the engravings, but we still haven't been able to bring back the migration to the C么a. The large migratory herds that moved through the landscape are still missing," he says. The non-profit is buying plots of land along the C么a to establish ecological stepping stones.

European rewilding

To reverse the degradation of ecosystems, the European Union's biodiversity strategy for 2030 requires member states to legally protect at least 30% of Europe's lands and strictly protect at least 10% of the territory by the end of this decade. Reaching these targets will be challenging in Portugal, where only 3% of forest land is owned by public entities.

"We don't have areas of strict conservation, only about 0.02% of the territory [in Portugal] is strictly protected," says Bastos Ara煤jo. Rewilding's mission to acquire lands for nature conservation could help increase the country's percentage of protected land, but Bastos Ara煤jo says more needs to be done on a national level to reach EU conservation targets 鈥 such as state policies to acquire land to be protected, tax incentives for conservation and making sure that once a plot of land is classified as protected the status can't change even if it's sold to new owners.

The emissions from travel it took to report this story were 50kg CO2. The digital emissions from this story are an estimated 1.2g to 3.6g CO2 per page view. Find out more about how we calculated this figure here.

So far, Rewilding Portugal says the organisation hasn't faced significant opposition from local communities, but the prospect of increasing the number of wolves is particularly contentious. To address concerns with potential wolf attacks, the non-profit has provided guard dogs and wolf-proof fences to local farmers to protect livestock. The local farmers' union did not respond to BBC Future Planet's request for comment.

"We focus on bringing the benefits of nature to people," says Filgueiras. Rewilding, she says, can become an opportunity for a regenerated rural economy based on nature tourism and local products, and is a model that could be reproduced in other depopulated regions in Europe. In Portugal, a network of nature-based enterprises was created in the C么a Valley to promote local products and market the region as a destination for sustainable tourism.

For Prata, rewilding offers hope for ecological restoration but requires patience. "We are looking for the long-term transformation of the landscape towards a wilder state and it can't be done in just a few years," he says. "It's a commitment to deliver a wilder landscape to the next generation."

22:56 UTC


Rewilding the Woolly Mammoth

This channel is pretty decent The art and reasoning is great Hope he gets more views

12:12 UTC


How Farmers Reshaped a Region and Solved Drought

18:59 UTC


馃 Project Rhino and Beyond with World Renowned Conservationist Grant Fowlds and Julian Victor 馃椇锔

Rewilding Africa and how it helps save the endangered species

22:11 UTC


Parental property

Hi, parents have 10 acres in thumb of Michigan. A few minute drive to Lake Huron shore. Nobody has mowed the lawn from 2 years. The grass I guess is prob 6 feet tall. We want to rewild it. Has some random birch on the property.

Don't want too much work.

17:45 UTC


Survey about the reintroduction of wolves to Britain

Hiya, I am writing about rewilding as part of my final project in college, I am conducting a survey to gather information about people's views on reintroducing wolves (specifically in Britan). If you feel this is relevant to you I would really appreciate if you could complete it.

The survey is completely anonymous and will take no more than two minutes to complete.

Thank you :)

14:58 UTC

00:37 UTC


Any rewilding efforts in Pittsburgh?

Hi all! New to this sub but looking to get involved with any local projects. I'm based in Pittsburgh, and I have some potentially helpful resources at my disposal.

1 Comment
03:08 UTC

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