May 2016


In the UK more beavers were reintroduced to Devon while a bearded vulture was spotted nearby. A dalmatian pelican was also spotted in Cornwall for the first time in hundreds of years. Lampreys are returning to British rivers.

51 griffon vulture chicks hatched in the rewilding zone of the Rhodope Mountains, while a blue eyed ground dove was spotted in Brazil after a 75 year absence.

This month also saw the third and final reintroduction of western quolls to the Flinders Ranges, and there is more Australian rewilding on the horizon.

Giant Aldabra tortoises are substituting as a keystone species in Mauritius, while seventeen yellow monitor lizards were returned to Kolkata wetlands.

A rare Sumatran rhino gave birth to a second calf, while a new one million hectare marine park and shark sanctuary Tan Mustapha was established in Malaysia.

In the United States the first wolverine to be seen in North Dakota in 150 years was shot immediately by a rancher, while in Montana a 50,000 acre cattle ranch has started its transition to a prairie nature reserve.

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David Attenborouggh unveiled London’s newest nature reserve Woodberry Wetlands, a rewilded reservoir.

A 38 Degrees initiative has seen thousands of people planting wildflowers around the country, while Buglife and Anglian Water have established a network of wildflower rich areas.

Oxford University and Rewilding Europe published a policy report, while Rewilding Europe also published their annual review and joined forced with WWF in the Danube Delta.

22 million of genetically modified mosquitoes are set to be released in the Grand Canyon.

A bee swarm clinging to a car had a Welsh town abuzz, while in Florida a strolling 15 foot alligator left golfers stunned.

A golf course employee explained – “he doesn’t bother anybody and they don’t bother him, he’s like a mascot for the course.”


Norway has committed to zero deforestation.

India plans to spend $6.2 billion creating new forests.

WCS scientists explained how elephant poaching damages rainforests.

More than twenty African nations attended the Great Green Wall conference in Sengal.


Environmentalists protesting the logging of Białowieża Forest received death threats and were accused of organising an “environmental coup”. Despite calls to establish the primeval forest as a national park, the government has pushed ahead with logging.

Environmental journalist George Monbiot summarised this as appeasing a corrupt logging industry by sacrificing its greatest natural treasure.

A film about the forests threatened by EU “green energy” has been made available online while the European Commission consults on sustainable bioenergy policy:

Talking Points

Invasive trash-eating jackals save Europe €2 million a year

Prince William insists on trophy hunting rhinos to save them from poaching, despite mounting evidence that shooting wildlife does not protect them from being shot. The latest scientific analysis demonstrates how even just culling large carnivores increases poaching.

The white-tailed eagle has recovered from near-extinction, and now preys on other at-risk birds.

Plans to airlift 80 South African rhinos to Australia to keep them safe.

Abandoned research chimpanzees (how not to rewild)








Great ape trafficking – an extractive industry?

Is Unesco corrupt?

Edible “plastic” to protect marine wildlife.

20% of all plants face extinction.

How safe does protected status keep the world’s national parks?

What British farmers think of rewilding.








UK Environment Agency looking to reduce staff, two months after politicians say it has been “hollowed-out“.

Agriculturalist Ben Eagle’s running commentary on rewilding events.

Should children eat tadpoles?

Wildlife shows have become like museums.

Can hungry goats restore urban forests?


Scientists explained to the Australian government that the Great Barrier Reef needs $10 billion for a chance of survival, after a report found that 93% of it had been bleached by climate change.

The Australian government recently ensured that their devastating environmental record towards the Great Barrier Reef was scrubbed from Unesco’s world heritage site report.

They also quietly added 49 species to threatened and endangered lists.

On the plus side police have dropped charges against Green politician Bob Brown after they arrested him for protesting against logging.

A coalition of organisations have joined forces to rewild the Australian outback – see more at FAUNA Research Alliance.


The vaquita porpoise is nearing extinction, with approximately 60 remaining. Mexican authorities are being called to immediately and indefinitely close all fisheries within their habitat.

Greenpeace revealed that a prominent overfishing sceptic – Dr Ray Hilborn – received at least $3.5 million from fishing industry groups.

A global campaign to protect sharks and rays from the fin trade has received record backing. See also this overview of the world’s shark sanctuaries and Malaysia’s new marine park.

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Ahead of Pixar’s new film Finding Dory, there are concerns that wild reef fish will suffer as they did with Finding Nemo. Read more here and here.

New research confirms that biodiversity helps reef fish deal with climate change.

Ocean Conservancy testified before the US Senate while Flora & Fauna International and others testified before the UK Parliament – both on issues of marine pollution and disposable plastic.

Seafood suppliers agreed not to expand further into the Arctic.

Poaching, etc

Illegal logging mafia were arrested in Peru.

South Africa will allow domestic trade of rhino horns again, lifting ban.

The boom in US bobcat trapping has spurred a lawsuit.

Three men were charged after drunkenly breaking into a nature reserve and killing an endangered pupfish.






Nine critically endangered vultures were poisoned in Cape Town.

In the UK raptors continue to be shot unlawfully and persecuted with propane gas guns, while other wildlife like mountain hares are slaughtered. Water birds shot at a village pond in Hampshire have sparked similar outrage.

Sign the petition to ban driven grouse shooting here and the petition to maintain the protected status of the raven here.

Bears and Wolves

The proposal to delist America’s grizzly bears has received thousands of public comments.

There will apparently be “limits” placed on Alaska’s black bear hunt.

There is talk of rewilding grizzly bears in California – here and here.

David Hetherington gave a short history of Scotland’s bears.

Gray wolf pups were released in New Mexico, while Oliver Milman explored American attitudes towards these predators.

Guillaume Chapron and Adrian Treves’s study demonstrated how allowing culling increased poaching of a large carnivore, and was covered by BBC Earth, The Verge, NY Times and elsewhere.


Disruptive light systems are becoming a popular method of deterring lions from cattle.

Analysis in the New Scientist contradicts the WWF’s claim that tigers are recovering, while researchers were shocked to find that leopards have lost 75% of their global habitat.

There was also a scientific paper published on snow leopards in an increasingly human landscape.







The boom in bobcat trapping has spurred an environmental lawsuit, and there is a public hearing in Montana.

The National Farmers Union warned that reintroduced lynx would put hikers at risk of attack – the Lynx Trust pointed out that these wild animals have never once attacked a human in all recorded history.

Four of the Iberian lynx introduced very recently to Southern Europe have been killed on the road.

Urban Rewilding

Bucharest now has the biggest urban protected area in Europe – Vacaresti Nature Park.

The Rainforest Alliance and others have underlined the economic importance of city trees.


Russia opened their first wildlife tunnel, while the USA have proposed their largest wildlife overpass yet to cross Los Angeles’ 101 Freeway.

London have elected the world’s first National Park City, and the city’s wildlife trust are hoping Mayor Sadiq Khan will act on his election promise of creating green corridors through the city.


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