Rewilding is a radical new approach to wildlife conservation that offers remarkable potential. If conservation seeks to preserve what remains and stave off further decline, rewilding goes further, seeking to restore entire ecosystems. It involves a spectrum of conservation options; at one end is a 'passive' approach prioritising ecological restoration – in essence, leaving land to recover naturally. At the other is what might be termed 'active' rewilding, where habitats are actively restored and keystone species reintroduced to quicken the process of recovery. The stakes are high in active rewilding. Large mammal translocations and wildlife corridors running through densely populated areas are high-risk, high-reward initiatives.
In this timely and exciting contribution to a wider conversation about our relationship with the natural world, wildlife journalist Millie Kerr takes readers on a global journey of discovery. She considers the practicalities and possibilities of ecological restoration around the world while exploring first-hand some of the most ambitious undertakings occurring today, many of which involve species reintroductions in the Global South. Wilder details the return of jaguars to an Argentinian national park, the first-ever pangolin reintroduction project in South Africa, and the ways in which giant tortoises are aiding the recovery of ecosystems throughout the Galápagos Islands, among many others.
At an urgent moment in the international fight against biodiversity loss, Wilder's message is one of innovation and optimism. By focusing on conservation success stories and showing that there are bands of determined conservationists fighting for a better future, Wilder inspires us all to become part of the solution.
Millie Kerr is a lawyer-turned-writer, focusing on wildlife conservation. After time in legal practice, Millie decided to instead pursue her passions of storytelling, travel, and wildlife conservation, and for the last ten years, she has worked as a freelance journalist and conservation communicator. Her creative essays and reported articles have appeared in dozens of American and British publications, including The Economist, the Guardian, National Geographic, New York Times, Popular Science, and Wall Street Journal. Millie has also worked for Panthera and the Wildlife Conservation Society; and has been retained by African Parks, Elephant Family, and Fauna & Flora International as an external consultant. She is a skilled wildlife photographer and has won several awards for her images. A Royal Geographical Society fellow, Millie holds a B.A. in history from Wake Forest University, a J.D. in law from The University of Texas, and an MPhil in conservation leadership from the University of Cambridge, where she wrote her dissertation on conservation storytelling while collaborating with the Cambridge Conservation Initiative's arts, science and conservation programme. A native of San Antonio, Texas, Millie is based in London, where she has lived on/off since 2001.
"There are many rewilding programs in many countries, and Kerr navigates this complex world, using stories to shine light on the heroic people fighting to restore endangered or locally extinct species to protected environments. A must-read for those concerned about biodiversity loss."
– Dr Jane Goodall
"Millie Kerr is the perfect guide to take us on a tour of the rewilding landscape. Her deep personal connection with nature and meticulous research inform a story of hope featuring a cast of fascinating characters (both human and animal). Wilder is essential reading for anyone interested in the future of conservation."
– Lucy Cooke, author and broadcaster
"Millie Kerr gives us a vivid portrait of the people and ideas shaping rewilding. In coming decades, there will be no more important cause. Traditional conservation is no longer enough; now we must rewild the world."
– Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods