Synchronicity Earth

Synchronicity Earth is a charitable foundation with an ambitious vision: a sustainable planet that values the interconnectivity and interdependence of all living things.

Wildlife Comeback in Europe

The Zoological Society of London, Birdlife International and the European Bird Census Council have recently launched a new report, commissioned by Rewilding Europe, about the recovery of selected mammal and bird species in Europe.

The report - Wildlife comeback in Europe, focuses on the positive changes wildlife conservation activities have had in the past 50 years. While biodiversity is declining globally, this report highlights how 37 European mammal and bird species have increased in numbers in the past 50 years.

Legal protection of species and sites, as well as reintroduction and re-stocking programmes are cited as key reasons behind the improved status of many of Europe’s mammal and bird species such as the brown bear, grey seal and European beaver; as well as the barnacle goose, white-headed duck and the saker falcon.

The key message in this report is one of hope. It demonstrates that conservation successes are possible when different factors combine, including reduced threats, increased protection and management and positive attitudes/behaviours, to create positive conditions for wildlife. It also highlights some of Europe’s most interesting and charismatic species, some of which were once largely forgotten. Many people will not know that European fauna includes 219 terrestrial and 41 marine mammals, and approximately 530 bird species (about 5% of global bird biodiversity).

While this report gives us something to build on and aim for both within and outside of Europe, it may also be worth remembering the need for more effective conservation efforts outside of Europe, especially as our impacts become greater and more far reaching as our appetite for resources continues to grow.

European Bison, Fasanerie Hanau, Germany (Photo: Cloudtail, Flickr)