If you arrived here using the QR code that you found in the EcoCalendar 2022: THANK YOU.
Thank you for your contribution and thank you for wanting to learn more about the fascinating topic of REWILDING.
«Rewilding is an evolutionary process of recovery from nature that leads to the restoration of the health, function and integrity of the ecosystem.» – Scotland: The Big Picture.
A relatively new concept, and somewhat controversial; but fascinating.
Rewilding, seeks to increase the biodiversity of lands and seas, so that flora and fauna prosper enriching the life of human beings too.
It is about reactivating ecosystems, reintroducing species of animals and plants to encourage nature to resume its ecological processes that were interrupted by the intervention of humans or another species.
Environmental processes are balanced in a prosperous way for the environment.
It recognises the significant influence species have on each other, both animal and plant, and works with that to improve the efectivness of the project.
For example, if there is an overpopulation of deer, which feed on the young shoots of trees that grow next to streams and rivers, those little trees will never be able to grow, so they will not provide shade to cool the water of that river, resulting in a decrease in the population of salmon, which will move to other places with colder waters.
And the list goes on and on…
Find out more at Scotland: The Big Picture’s website
Get to know the different species that inhabit the EcoCalendar and their key role on rewilding.
The lynx can run up to 69km/h and be almost a meter long. Their favorite habitat is the forest.
That isn’t surprising, since it is a top predator that leaves its trail through feaces, urine or scratches on the trunks of trees, which advertise its presence and keeps the other animals on the move, preventing them of settling and overgrazing, thus giving young trees the opportunity to grow.
The carcasses of their prey also serve as food for other animals, in addition to fertilizing the soil, helping new plants to grow.
They are extinct in the UK, but elsewhere in Europe they are recovering.
Its original territory stretches from Scotland to Mongolia or Iran, spanning from Europe to Asia.
They can be a meter long, and its prefered habitats are rivers, streams, lakes, wetlands.
A beavers’ coat has between 12.000 and 23.000 hairs per cm2, creating a thick barrier to protect them against cold and predators.
Beavers have already been reintroduced to England and Scotland, and are a key player in rewilding.
By building dams and digging channels, beavers create and maintain habitats where a lot of biodiversity can flourish. The dams prevent the eroded soil of the fields from being lost to the sea. Carbon and nutrients are trapped, improving downstream water quality. The flow of water slows down, helping to prevent flooding.
Those things have a positive impact for example to salmons, helping them to grow faster and in better condition in areas where beavers live.
Discover more about beavers at Rewilding Britain’s website.
A great predator vital to the rewilding work because of its impact on shaping the landscape by influencing the behaviour of herbivores.
The wolf alters the behaviour of its prey, like deers, and control its population. This can reduce overgrazing and support the establishment of woodlands and other habitats, which then boosts biodiversity and transforms landscapes.
The carcasses of wolf kills provide food opportunities for many creatures, resulting on abundance of wildlife.
In the 1990s, Poland banned hunting wolves so the wolf population has been recovering and spreading west. They have successfully established in Germany and reached as far as Norway.
Salmon are often associated with pristine, cascading rivers, but due to climate change and the increase of water temperatures, the salmon, so dependent on clean, cold water, are in need of the trees and complex vegetation to provide shade and food for them.
Through excretion, spawning and decay, salmon directly affect the ecology of their freshwater environments and increase nutrient availability for algae, invertebrates and young salmon.
They are key for enriching the soil improving conditions for trees to grow.
Salmon themselves are an important food source for a lot of aquatic and terrestrial wildlife, such as otters, waterfowl and eagles.
Cranes were once widespread across the United Kingdom, but in the late 1500s became extinct due to hunting and drainage of their wetland habitat.
These birds are known for their peculiar call that reminds of a trumpet and their fascinating courtship dance.
They are more than 1 meter tall and when spreading their wings they can reach 2.4meters wide.
In Scotland there are only a few breeding pairs of cranes right now that hopefuly, will spread over time but it will take many years.
Restoring wetlands for cranes will provide additional habitat for plants and insects, and help to reduce the impact of seasonal flooding.
Discover more about the project Cairngorms Cranes at the website of Scotland: The Big Picture.
A key woodland shaper determining growth, structure and knock on opportunities for a multitude of other species.
They can run at 70m/h and weigh 180kg.
In Scotland there are more than 300.000 deers. This high number, combined with the lack of natural predators, means that red deer are preventing the large-scale natural regeneration of forests.
But, red deer also help spread seeds that will later grow into trees.
They graze grasses and sedges, and browse tree shoots and shrubs such as heather and blaeberry. These mixed feeding actions, combined with trampling, have a significant impact on the composition of ground flora.
Red squirrels are protected in the United Kingdom.
You can spot them sometimes in forests or parks, but you’re most likely to find the gray squirrel instead.
Crested tit-Coming soon…
Red fox-Coming soon…
Pine marten-Coming soon…
» Despite its beauty and drama, Scotland has become a nature-depleted nation. Many species that were once prolific now teeter on the edge; others have been hunted to extinction. Centuries of ecological decline have led the complex living systems, upon which we all depend, to falter, and now climate breakdown is knocking on Scotland’s door.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Rewilding is an opportunity to transform our land and seas into a rich tapestry of life, so they work in all their colourful complexity, bringing benefits to nature, climate and people.
“Confining our ambition to protecting the fragments and threads of nature we have left is no longer enough. We need to stretch our imaginations to what else is possible. With a change in mindset, amazing things can happen.”
~ Peter Cairns, Executive Director, SCOTLAND: The Big Picture