From Wildlife Extra:
New rewilding area to be launched in Europe
The Oder Delta, on the border between Poland and Germany, is set to become the eighth area of Europe to be designated as part of the Rewilding Europe initiative.
The project’s aims are to establish 10 areas for the reintroduction of wild animals that formerly roamed such habitats but which have died out.
The new location is strategically placed at one of the natural crossroads in Europe. This transboundary region has seen a spontaneous comeback of wildlife and increasing wild natural areas over the past decades.
Polders that had been drained have been re-flooded, rivers have been restored and large areas have been set aside for nature – with positive results.
Nature has regenerated well, and iconic wildlife species have discovered these new habitats and have started to come back.
Mosaics of riverine forests, willow shrub habitats and half-open landscapes have formed a very high diversity of different habitats – naturally flowing rivers, marshes, vast reed beds, alluvial forests, oak and pine forests, meadows, bogs, coastal dunes and open sea.
This variation of landscapes supports a high number of different mammals, birds and fish, with at least seven charismatic species.
They all roam free in the Oder Delta region and can be observed in the wild. There are also semi-wild Konik horses grazing in the grasslands and river forelands.
Stepnicka Organizacja Turystyczna (SOT), HOP Transnationales Netzwerk Odermündung e.V. and Deutsche Umwelthilfe e.V. (DUH), together with local and regional partners have recognised these positive developments and future opportunities.
These organisations believe the Oder Delta could become a major nature tourism destination for visitors from Europe and beyond.
This diversity of species and the unique landscape provide a huge economic value that can be unlocked in support of the local economy of the region, by developing and starting new economic models.
Based on these opportunities, the three organisations (SOT, HOP and DUH) in cooperation with collaborating landowners and entrepreneurs are planning to start pilot initiatives.
This will be done in close cooperation with Rewilding Europe, a European wide initiative in support of a wilder Europe, for the benefit of nature and people.