Rewiring an emptied food web


One of the best putdowns last year of the herbivorists, like REFARMING (Rewilding) Europe and Frans Vera, came in a question time answer by Prof. Anthony Sinclair of the University of British Columbia during his talk in April at the University of Washington (1). It was a fascinating discourse on the need for restoring ecosystems, informed by his many years of studying the trophic ecology of the Serengeti-Mara Ecosystem in East Africa, and how its trophic structuring had restored with the return of carnivores after removal of the disturbance of rinderpest in 1963, a viral disease of ungulates (2,3). Sinclair introduced his quantitative approach to restoration by determining an endpoint of restructuring as an hypothesis, and then monitoring progress to that endpoint by use of a rewilding index, the index approaching zero when all possible trophic interaction had returned (1). That his index for the Serengeti stubbornly refused to bottom out at zero was solved by the belated recognition of the absence of a predator, a wild dog that had declined to local extinction in 1992. Once a policy of active reinstatement of wild dogs was implemented, the restoration trajectory resumed towards establishment of the pre-rinderpest community, and progress to a zero index returned. It was a strong advocacy for achieving full trophic occupancy, Sinclair believing that it overcame the instability that resulted from the loss of species like the carnivores. The quantitative endpoint he described reinforced my view that restoration has be about outcome, rather than just the nebulous "process-led approach" of the fake rewilders (4). I will come back to that idea of restoring towards some determined endpoint, but the putdown on the Dutch process-led approach was when Sinclair was asked to comment on qualitative versus quantitative aspects of rewilding (about 1:05:40 in (1)):
“Another approach [to rewilding] which has been mooted in Europe, I believe Holland, is that there is aesthetic appeal to cows, and that what we should really be doing is working on having cows in the environment. I am saying that just to show you that basically you can get anything, if we are talking about nature, if we are talking about living organisms, so why I went this [quantitative] route is to try and constrain that because in the end if a term - restoration or rewilding - applies to everything, it also means nothing”

A division between herbivore and carnivore rewilders

Sinclair’s poke at the Dutch herborvists added to increasing evidence in the literature of a division being made between herbivore rewilders and carnivore rewilders. While my prejudice suggests that the former do really exist – REFARMING Europe - my thinking is that it is an unhelpful distinction, along with the bewilderingly long list of allegedly other types of rewilding, such as Pleistocene-, passive-, active-, translocation-, and trophic rewilding (did I miss any out? (5)). A couple of colleagues in the Rewilding Task Force made this distinction as Herbivore bottom-up rewilding and Carnivore top-down rewilding, but it was in giving recognition to the perennial argument as to which is the most important driver in trophic control (6). Miles King in British Wildlife was more specific when he described this division in rewilding vision as producing a binary of landscape state (7):
“Carnivore rewilders promote a vision of a natural closed-canopy forest (believing the palynologists) where carnivore populations control herbivore population numbers and behaviour, partly through the ‘landscape of fear’. Herbivore rewilders (supporting Vera’s theory) dismiss palynological evidence as fatally flawed, and promote a vision of open park-like landscapes, where oaks regenerate in groves, protected by thorny scrub and bramble”

While Miles allowed that the reality in a pre-human Europe is unknown, I always find the attribution of high forest canopy to be an unhelpful divisiveness. In navigating our way through an understanding of natural landscapes, it is important not to get side tracked by what is anyway patently and ecologically untrue, as it bears no indication of prevailing edaphic and climatic conditions. As I have explained to Miles, it’s all about what is the predominant land cover making up a matrix of various closed and open states. These states will reflect edaphic and climatic conditions, as well as the poise that comes from interaction of a fully occupied and interactive trophic ecology. To re-use a phrase again - it’s the ecology, stupid!

Another example described the “Herbivore school” as being “primarily interested in the relationships between large herbivores and vegetation”, and which “draws on predominantly European experiences with habitat restoration in cultural landscapes using domestic livestock”. The “Carnivore school” was characterized by “an emphasis on conserving very large tracts of land to support top predators and their prey”, the authors asserting that it “strongly draws on the North American cultural mythology of wilderness” (8). Why this divisiveness by slurring wilderness? It’s not a myth that wilderness offers the best hope for full trophic occupancy (9). The paper surveyed the mission statements of entities associated with rewilding, or which had similar aims, from which they said three groupings emerged based on content analysis, and which were not characterised by their geographical location. These were organisations that focussed on what species were present (ecological baselines); those that focussed on ecological functions rather than species identities; and those that focused on conserving large spaces. I have to say that if these organisations had been classified more correctly, on their activities rather than the content of their mission statements, then they would fall into new or other groups, because there were very obvious misattributions that invalidated the whole approach. It is a bugbear that is so common in most of the recent literature on rewilding because often there is a superficiality, an ecological illiteracy apparent in the authors, and with no evaluation of outcome.

The association of carnivores with rewilding

Given the thrusting ubiquity of REFARMING Europe in setting the herbivorist trend in rewilding, I am surprised when I come across the contrary assertion, that rewilding is associated with reinstatement of carnivores. I wrote recently about the pushback as the wolf is increasingly spreading out and expanding its distribution range in Continental Europe (10) and noted that a British journalist, Catherine Bennet, had latched on to the tensions as a means to declare her prejudice against wolf reinstatement in Britain (11). Bennet’s supposition was that this was being pushed by rewilders through claiming that it had been ”the huge success of rewilders, within a couple of decades” in dispelling “ancient, anti-wolf sentiment” that had resulted in “celebrations over the return of these predators to the outskirts of Rome”. How could Bennet make that claim when her “couple of decades” suggests a very rapid trans-Atlantic migration of the concept of rewilding since the landmark definition commonly associated with it was only published in 1998 in America (12). Moreover, there is no word for rewilding in the Italian language, the nearest may be rinaturalizzazione that translates to renaturalisation. Thus it was an exaggeration too far for Bennet to suggest that the voluntary wanderings of a pair of wolves into the outskirts of Rome, and their subsequent breeding, had anything to do with rewilders, and is more likely to be evidence of a respect for the law, other than is apparent in the Northern Apennines, and which has protected wolves in Italy since 1971 (10).

Blogger Josie Appleton also sought to stymie any thought of reinstatement of large carnivores in the UK by enlisting the resentment of French sheep farmers at the return of bears to locations in the Central Pyrenees where they had been hunted out (13). In her narrative, based on her conversations with these farmers, this unwanted reinstatement of bears was rewilding – “Rewilders’ version of nature is a fantasy, committee-room nature. It was people sitting in committee rooms in Paris who thought that it would be nice to bring back the bear”. There is no word for rewilding in French either, perhaps the nearest phrase to its aim is Remise à l'état sauvage - Restoring to the wild state - and again we get into timeline problems since the first few bears from Slovenia were introduced in 1996–1997 (14). The prejudice against these bears is turning increasingly nasty, with aggression towards state employees, intimidation from volleys of rifle shots and damage to official vehicles, as well as video propaganda of masked and armed men threatening to “restart bear-hunting in Ariege” being sent to media outlets (15,16). As was the case with wolves in Italy, this hatred towards the bears in the Pyrenees is not universal, and is at its greatest where they were considered to be a threat to pastoralism, but less so where there was a continuity of the presence of bears, or where there were both bears and wolves (14). More explicitly, Catherine Brunet wrote a book of her experience of sheep co-exisitng with bears in the Pyrenees where she says the recommended protective measures had worked on her farm, including from her Pyrenean Mountain dog (16.17). She is derided by the bear–haters, had her car vandalised, and her thirty years in sheep-herding and sheep-breeding questioned, as was her contact with bears in the area. It is hard to underestimate the extent of the refusal of haters to consider other realities.

The association of carnivores with rewilding stems from an article in Wild Earth from 1998 by two conservation biologists, Soulè and Noss, who were heavily involved in the Wildlands Project (now Wildlands Network) their Cores, Corridors and Carnivores being a shorthand explanation for the scientific approach to rewilding that they set out for the Project (12). The recognition of the regulatory role of carnivores in biological systems was forefront in their approach but, as conservation biologists, they were keen to note that rewilding was not exclusively about carnivores - “it emphasizes the restoration and protection of big wilderness and wide-ranging, large animals- particularly carnivores”. Fundamentally, it was about reinstating all of the keystones species that had been extirpated as a “critical step in restoring self-regulating land communities”. As to the origins of the word, Newsweek journalist Jennifer Foote is credited with its first use in print in an article from 1990 that I don’t have access to, but is reported to be about environmentalists becoming more radical and militant, such as groups like Earth First! and Virginians for Wilderness (19). Dave Foreman, who came out of Earth First! to become a co-founder of the Wildlands Network, is often credited next but, as I found out, it was Robert Mueller of Virginians for Wilderness who used rewilding a few months before him in an article in Wild Earth, the journal of the Wildlands Network. Mueller was putting forward proposals for new wilderness areas and extensions to existing wilderness areas, in the Monongahela National Forest that sits on the Allegheny Mountains in West Virginia (20). Browsing damage from deer was a limiting factor to restoration, and so he recommended a forest management approach that had been proposed in Wisconsin for creating large scale reserves by reducing that deer pressure. Reducing deer numbers would be achieved through concerted culling, but also through reducing their browse – the edge effect - by excluding commercial-scale timber harvests in those areas (21). Mueller saw this as only the start – “… this step should be regarded merely as a prelude to the complete rewilding of these forests with Cougars, Gray Wolves and other extirpated species” (20). In the next edition of Wild Earth, Foreman used it in his editorial – “It is the goal of Wild Earth to offer the bold vision of the New Conservation Movement. It is time to rewild North America; it is past time to reweave the full fabric of life on our continent” (22). He was contemplating the rewilding and interconnecting of the detached units of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park through the Little Missouri National Grassland, by “acquiring interspersed private land, removing the cattle, tearing down fences, giving the Bison and Elk room to roam, and then restoring wolf and Grizzly to their rightful place [-] here is a vision for the twenty-first century. This is where tomorrow begins”

A fully interactive trophic occupancy

Given that these early descriptions of rewilding are not just about reinstatement of carnivores, but restoration at all trophic levels, then it is facile to consider otherwise in achieving a fully functional trophic ecology. I looked for a contemporary vision that meets that criteria without necessarily being labelled as rewilding. There is a proposal to reinstate tigers to Kazakhstan in Central Asia. The Caspian Tiger (Panthera tigris virgata) became extinct nearly 50 years ago in many Central Asian countries, including Kazakhstan, because of poaching, hunting out of prey, and habitat loss (23,24). However, the living Amur Tigers (Panthera tigris altaica) of the Russian Far East are taxonomically synonymous, the Caspian and Amur groups historically formed a single population, only becoming separated within the last 200 years through human agency (24). A first feasibility study for reinstatement in Central Asia back in 2009 noted that the tiger was found along the floodplains of rivers and in tall grass and reed beds along rivers and lakes, this type of riparian forest being called “Tugai” (25). The study looked for suitable habitat and sufficient prey species in Uzbekistan, but came up short, and so a survey in Kazakhstan was recommended, in particular the South Pribalkhash’e – Ili River floodplains. That field survey took place shortly afterwards, revealing in the Ily delta various types of linear riparian forests dominated by poplar, oleaster (Elaeagnus angustifolia) tamarisk, salt trees (Halimodendron halodendron) and tall reed bed thickets or brushes, and sometimes mixed tugai-reed arrays (26). Practically all lower parts of the plain, which were periodically flooded, turned into riparian forests of reed brushes, increasing the potential total area of tiger’s habitats. In order to restore a tiger population, the report concluded that all the variety of habitats need to be improved, and populations of prey species restored. Communities with poplar and oleaster need regular floods, so their restoration depends on the hydro regime – and artificial floods could compensate for the absence of natural floods. On the other hand, these communities mostly suffer from fires – and thus artificial fires used to clear the land for livestock would have to be forbidden. Reed brushes are the most productive for wild boar, while oleaster with poplar, willow and other species are preferable for roe deer, Bukhara deer (Cervus elaphus bactrianus) and wild boar. However, a mosaic mixture of various plant communities would be the most favourable for various species. Large territories in the area are occupied by lakes between sand hills – and supply the sand hills with water, so tamarisk, salt tree and some other desert shrubs grow there, providing ungulates not only with shelter, but with some forage as well. The wild ass (kulan - Equus hemionus kulan) would also be a suitable prey species, and it would fit in with these sand hill areas (27) as would the goitered gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa).

The report made the point that 80% of the area belongs to the state Forest Agency. Thus a long term plan would be to amalgamate existing sanctuaries and additional territories in to a national park, once the necessity of solving problems with farmers had been achieved. You can read for yourself the development of the socio-economic component of tiger reintroduction programme for the Ili River Floodplain and South Balkhash area (28) and the follow-up modelling of the capacity for tiger and its prey populations (29). The proposed reintroduction program covers a 15 year period, with new Protected Areas created with strict enforcement over at least half of the proposed future habitat, a relocation of economic activities like grazing, a plan to stop poaching and prevent banned natural resource use activities, and a reinstatement of prey species within ~7,000sqkm of a linear patchwork related to the Caspian tiger’s preference for tugai forests and reed thickets along river valleys, lakes, and oxbow lakes, and the phased reinstatement of Amur Tigers to a population of 100 in 50 years’ time (30,31). With that backdrop of extensive feasibility effort, the Republic of Kazakhstan announced plans last September to bring wild tigers back to their historical range in the Ili-Balkhash region, and signed a memorandum with WWF to jointly implement a tiger reinstatement programme (23):
“To prepare for the return of wild tigers, on 1st January 2018 the Government of Kazakhstan will establish a new nature reserve in the southwestern Ili-Balkhash, in order to restore the unique riparian forest habitat that is adjacent to Lake Balkhash. This will include the protection of existing wildlife, and reintroducing important prey species, such as the endangered kulan (wild donkey) and Bactrian deer that are native to Central Asia, but now extinct in Kazakhstan due to poaching and habitat loss”

What I found so impressive about this program is the recognition of the need to reinstate the riparian forests, along with its wild herbivore populations, before bringing in the first few tigers – all moves to create a fully interactive trophic occupancy. This has been fittingly described elsewhere in these terms - “To re-establish ecological processes, a rewilding project envisages rewiring an emptied food web with the desired links. Rewiring is the reconfiguration of the interaction patterns of network elements” and it is certainly true of what has been happening in the Serengeti (32). To complete the picture, I looked at Kazakhstan’s protected area legislation to see if it has the capability to create a new nature reserve that can safeguard these transformations through strict protection. There are a range of protected area types, each one having a different protected area regime in place, from strict nature reserve and state national nature park where the protected regime “provides for the prohibition of any economic activity, as well as other activities that violate the natural state of natural complexes”, through to state managed reserves, the latter being similar to our SSSI (33,34). There are no protected cultural landscapes in Kazakhstan, like our national parks, but then we don’t have any strictly protected area types or proper National Parks.

Condemned us to a continuing incomplete trophic ecology

It could all have been so different, though, if the Addison Committee, the first Parliamentary Committee on National Parks in the early 1930s, hadn’t repudiated evidence from other countries, even from Continental Europe, and flatly condemned us to a continuing incomplete trophic ecology – “Some of these methods would be clearly inappropriate in this country, e.g., it would be impossible to contemplate game reserves similar to those of Africa and America in a country where the fauna is practically limited to birds, insects and the smaller mammals” (not freely available – (35)). So what it was saying was that the wild heritage we had left in the twentieth century wasn’t worth giving its own space, and that the Committee could not conceive that anyone would want to do anything to reverse the loss of fauna that limited us to our “smaller mammals”. The Committee then banged on about the usual fallacy of a dense population, as though population distribution is evenly spaced when it patently isn’t, even today - “Great Britain is small, densely populated, and highly developed and has relatively little land which is not already put to some economic or productive use” but it’s that latter point that gives the game away in not wishing to inconvenience land owners, so that instead the aim would be in “taking adequate measures for preserving the countryside” by preventing “disorderly development” - “We believe that many of the essential  objects of a “National Park” movement can be largely secured by planning”.

This set the pattern for what would emerge eventually, that what we had left of our natural world – the birds, insects and the smaller mammals - was to continue to be in an enforced co-existence with people within a cultural landscape. This, of course, would be less scary for landowners, as the alternative, of proper national parks, would have needed state purchase of land, but then was this really so unobtainable? The Forestry Commission had been set up in 1919 with just such wide powers to acquire land, clocking up an impressive 3.5% of the UK (36,37).

So here we are, still a “country where the fauna is practically limited to birds, insects and the smaller mammals” whereas if there had been less of a dead weight of blinkered vision and, instead, a greater and more principled aspiration for wild nature back in the 1930’s - as there had been in Switzerland in 1914 (9), then we may too have had some real national parks where it would not be such a struggle to consider reinstatement of a fully interactive trophic ecology, the return of our native vegetation as well as our native carnivores. It is through ending up in this depauperate state that has led instead to the situation where recent medium and large mammal reinstatements have had to consider the least conflict route of using the only large, publicly owned areas we have available to us, which is in Public Forest Estate, even though these are sub-optimal habitat locations (38).

What is achievable?

What can be achieved, given the inherited constraints on large carnivore reinstatement, and which has any ecological credibility? This is what confronted me when I was asked what I would do with Bwlch Corog in the Cambrian Mountains, 140ha of moorland dominated by purple moor grass (Molinia caerulea) with a relatively small area of ancient woodland that the Wales Wild Land Foundation holds on a 125-year lease from the Woodland Trust (39). I looked at the report on the ancient woodland on its northern edge (40) and checked out the SSSI around the location in terms of ecological linkage. I’ve since looked at the comprehensive vegetation survey that was carried out in 2005, but it did not change my initial impression gained from photographs of the area. A high proportion of the grassland is marshy, and that with acid and neutral grassland plus continuous bracken constitutes over 80% of the land cover (41). The tussocky purple moor grass is obviously a legacy of a historical regime of frequent burning and heavy grazing that is widespread in our uplands. It would be tough, if not pointless, to try to eke out what miniscule amounts there are of blanket mire, dry and wet heath just to form a habitat bridge between the SSSIs, and which would be the usual conservation dogma approach.

I also looked at the species records on the NBN Atlas for the location on the basis of a 1km radius (42). Only two record sites were directly on the land, one for three lichens, the other one in the south for 86 species records, including moths and birds (carnivores like the buzzard, sparrowhawk, carrion crow, but no owls). There were no records of mammals. The recording site just off the northern edge of the land, in what appears to be the conifer plantation, contributes a large number of species within the 1km radius and, from the list of plants, is probably characteristic of the grassland, shrub, vascular plant and moss species of the moor. The spatial precision of this record system isn’t great, but it is a guide to what is local, and what may migrate onto the site from further away by using the 2km radius (43). Mammals picked up at that radius included common shrew, water rat, field vole, as well as weasel, badger and fox. Amongst the birds were carrion crow, raven, grey heron, sparrowhawk, kestrel, green woodpecker and tawny owl, as well as many other avian insectivores and herbivores (kestrel, buzzard and red kite were seen during the vegetation survey (41)). Many mosses and lichens were shown in the site records of the location just outside and near bottom-right of the boundary of Bwlch Corog, and which are probably also representative of the vegetation on Bwlch Corog. Out of interest, I used the NBN Atlas to have a look at an ungrazed area to the west of Bwlch Corog. The satellite photo of the area doesn’t really give much evidence of a transformation arising from the cessation of grazing, and it also came up species poor at the 1km radius, but that may perhaps a lag in re-recording since grazing stopped (44).

As Bwlch Corog has not been grazed for six years, and the intention is to plant scattered copse of native trees, then it seemed to me to have the potential for the initiation of new trophic processes for the location based on small mammals like field voles, wood mice, and common shrews attracted to the taller vegetation, the birds attracted to the small mammals, as has been seen at similar upland locations after cessation of grazing and then tree planting, such as South House Moor and Carrifran Wildwood (45,46). I did some natural vegetation mapping for the area of Bwlch Corog to show what could be there, given that only the wild nature of climate and soils would get the choice (47). It is quite gross mapping at this scale, but the oak forest mostly with birch, holly and hard fern concurred with the conclusion of the vegetation survey – “All the land ………. lies below the potential tree-line, so theoretically the whole site could be restored to some form of native woodland. This would be easier on some of the more fertile areas on the site and probably quite difficult in some of the Molinia-dominated vegetation over deep peat” (41). Whether this indication for Bwlch Corog is correct is perhaps not the issue, as I hoped that the tree planting would be done on the basis of using the Ecological Site Classification decision support system, a way of matching native tree to local conditions, as was done at South House Moor and Carrifran (47,48).

Given the small mammals and bird species that could migrate into Bwlch Corog, once its natural vegetation is on a trajectory of restoration, then it would be possible to calculate a rough capacity to harbour these species based on their home ranges, and to construct a potential trophic pyramid for the location (49). This would be the basis of assessing outcome, a similar approach used at Carrifran showing a greater than expected voluntary return of nearly 50 avian species with more to come (50,51) as well as the release in growth of upland dwarf shrubs and other ground flora communities, while there are the beginnings of forest ecosystems (52). The transformations at South House Moore are equally impressive (although the documentation is not accessible) with vegetation height more than doubled, a dramatic comeback of dwarf shrubs, bog asphodel springing up in wetter places; a five-year British Trust for Ornithology survey showing 37 species of birds, many never seen on an adjacent grazed moor, including willow warbler, redpoll, black cap; a survey over six months that showed 45 times more small mammals; a matched capture between grazed and ungrazed that had 56 field voles and 34 common shrews in the ungrazed area compared to only one of each on the grazed area; and raptor pellets were only on ungrazed moor, correlating with frequent sightings of short-eared owls (53). The ungrazed moorland landscape at South House Moor has taken on a remarkable structure of grass hummocks infiltrated by a range of mosses, with larger areas of sphagnum developing, and with regeneration of shrubs – heather, bilberry etc. It is hard going for hominids, but drilled with runs and tunnels of small mammals, and offers a stark contrast with the flatness of Park Fell, the adjacent grazed moorland.

I had to say that given the restraints that there currently are on reinstatement of the larger carnivores, then our sights have for the moment to be set at the level of the achievable, and for our credibility and accomplishment to be monitored on that basis. I noted that it was planned to introduce grazing by horses at Bwlch Corog relatively soon (39). I cautioned that six years in the absence of grazing at an upland location wasn’t long enough to see the benefits that have accrued at South House Moor and Carrifran in terms of ground layer regeneration and return of mammal and bird species, and that they will face difficulties in tree establishment without some elaborate system of physical protection. Given that it was then intended, under the pretext of “rewilding principles”, to introduce even more herbivore pressure, none of it being under any trophic regulation (39) then the aspiration for restoration of native vegetation seemed very weak, and any gains in vegetation structure and thus small mammal return would be lost, or not even gained. I noted that the unrestrained action of these large herbivores was the surest way to end up with exactly what is there at the moment, but with the purple moor grass being a bit shorter. Since we are denied at present having an influence from large carnivores in creating a predator-limited carrying capacity for large herbivores (4) then there has to be considerable doubt as to an ecological justification for their presence, even though that would mean the niche occupied by those large herbivores would be vacant. It’s a question of niche reciprocity in trophic interaction – if there is not reciprocity at the scale of this niche, a rewiring at that level of the emptied food web, then the potential for ecological damage and disruption within the trophic pyramid is too great (see above). David Bullock, Conservation manager at the National Trust, has recognised the importance of small mammals, given the restraints on reinstatement of the larger carnivores, when he proposed this alternative scenario (54):
"Rewilding could happen at the lowest trophic level through revitalising degraded soils, restoring their faunae, florae and fungi, and building on the presence of native or long-established burrowing and above-ground herbivores, omnivores and middle-sized predators"

David opined that this “may seem less exciting” but I don’t see the transformations at South House Moor and Carrifran as any less exciting, just an immeasurably more honest approach to trophic restoration that can be anticipated in its trajectory, and its accomplishment monitored. Can you get that from the nebulousness of any of the herbivorist process-led approaches? Have you ever tested any of them for their honesty and outcome?

Mark Fisher 9 January 2018

(1) The Future of Conservation: Lessons From the Past and the Need for Rewilding of Ecosystems, Prof Anthony Sinclair, Sustaining Our World Lecture 4 April 2017, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, College of the Environment, University of Washington, Seattle

(2) Sinclair, A. R. E., Mduma, S., & Brashares, J. S. (2003). Patterns of predation in a diverse predator–prey system. Nature, 425(6955), 288-290

(3) Sinclair, A. R. E., Mduma, S. A., Hopcraft, J. G. C., Fryxell, J. M., Hilborn, R. A. Y., & Thirgood, S. (2007). Long‐term ecosystem dynamics in the Serengeti: lessons for conservation. Conservation Biology, 21(3), 580-590

(4) Moving past process to outcome – the manifestation of wild land, Self-willed land September 2017

(5) Trophic occupancy and the rehabilitation of the meaning of rewilding, Self-willed land January 2016

(6) van Maanen, E., & Convery, I. (2016) Rewilding: the Realisation and Reality of a New Challenge for Nature in the Twenty-first Century. In Convery I. & Davis P. (Eds.), Changing Perceptions of Nature (pp. 303-319). Boydell and Brewer

(7) King. M. (2017) The Knepp Vera conference: the case for creating new wood pastures. British Wildlife 29(1): 27-33

(8) Root-Bernstein, M., Galetti, M., & Ladle, R. J. (2017). Rewilding South America: Ten key questions. Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation. 15: 271–281

(9) Fisher, M. (2016). Ecological values of wilderness in Europe. In K. Bastmeijer (Ed.), Wilderness Protection in Europe: The Role of International, European and National Law (pp. 67-93). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

(10) The greatest challenge for living with wolves rests within the human mind, Self-willed land November 2017

(11) Actually, I’d prefer it if the wolf was kept from my door, Catherine Bennett, Guardian 1 October 2017

(12) Soulé, M. and Noss, R. (1998) Rewilding and biodiversity: complementary goals for continental conservation. Wild Earth 8(3): 1-11

(13) ‘Rewilding’ and the attack on civilisation, Josie Appleton, Notes on Freedom 26 September 2017

(14) Piédallu, B., Quenette, P.Y., Mounet, C., Lescureux, N., Borelli-Massines, M., Dubarry, E., Camarra, J.J. and Gimenez, O. (2016) Spatial variation in public attitudes towards brown bears in the French Pyrenees. Biological Conservation, 197, pp.90-97.

(15) Nicolas Hulot condamne fermement l’agression de quatre agents de l’Office national de la chasse et de la faune sauvage (ONCFS) à Auzat (09) le 25 août 2017, Ministère de la Transition écologique et solidaire Presse 28 août 2017

(16) Dans une vidéo, des hommes masqués et armés veulent « rouvrir la chasse à l’ours » en Ariège.  Audrey Garric, Le Monde 15.09.2017

(17) Brunet, C. (2107) LA BERGÈRE ET L'OURS. Vox Scriba

(18) Can sheep be protected from bears in the Pyrenees? Yes, says Catherine Brunet, Steve Cracknell, La Traversée des Pyrénées (GR10) décembre 28th, 2017

(19) Foote. J. (1990) Radical environmentalists are honing their militant tactics and gaining followers. Newsweek 115(6): 24.

(20) Mueller, R.E. (1992) Central Appalachian Wilderness in Perspective: The Monongahela National Forest Wild Earth 2(2): 56-60

(21) Alverson, W. S., Waller, D. M., & Solheim, S. L. (1988). Forests too deer: edge effects in northern Wisconsin. Conservation Biology, 2(4), 348-358

(22) Foreman, D. (1992) Around the campfire. Wild Earth 2(3)

(23) Wild tigers to return to Kazakhstan 70 years after going extinct, WWF Global 8 September 2017

(24) Driscoll, C.A., I. Chestin, H. Jungius, O. Pereladova, Y. Darman, E. Dinerstein, J. Seidensticker, J. Sanderson, S. Christie, S.J. Luo, M. Shrestha, Y. Zhuravlev, O. Uphyrkina, Y.V. Jhala, S.P. Yadav, D.G. Pikunov, N. Yamaguchi, D.E. Wildt, J.L.D. Smith, L. Marker, P.J. Nyhus, R. Tilson, D.W. Macdonald & S.J. O’Brien (2012). A postulate for tiger recovery: the case of the Caspian Tiger. Journal of Threatened Taxa 4(6): 2637–2643

(25) Jungius, H., Chikin, Y., Tsaruk, O., & Pereladova, O. (2009). Pre-feasibility study on the possible restoration of the Caspian tiger in the Amu Darya delta.

(26) Lukarevskii, V. & Baidavletov, R/ (2011) Report on the field survey in the Ily River Valley: Investigation of the possibilities of tigers presence in the region and opportunities for its reintroduction. April 2011

(27) The Kulan is back in the Central Steppes of Kazakhstan, Frankfurt Zoological Society November 2017

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