Scientists from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), BirdLife International and the European Bird Census Council (EBCC) worked with experts from across Europe to gather relevant data about the distribution and abundance of selected species. The resulting report, Wildlife Comeback in Europe, describes how, why and where 37 mammal and bird species have recovered over the past 50 years, providing important lessons for the conservation of these and other species.
"Wildlife will bounce back if we allow it to – Wildlife Comeback in Europe shows that," says Frans Schepers, Managing Director of Rewilding Europe who initiated and commissioned this study. "With continued and strong legal protection, active boosting of existing wildlife populations and reintroductions to bring back lost species, combined with an increasing tolerance towards wildlife, more species will surely follow."
Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, Member of the European Parliament and Rapporteur for Biodiversity says: "Wildlife Comeback in Europe shows first of all the amazing resilience of nature. Furthermore, it emphasizes the importance of EU policy: the Birds and Habitats Directives, the Natura 2000 network of protected areas and the Water Framework Directive are all explicitly credited for supporting this impressive return of wildlife. The rewilding of Europe exceeds nature protection, because these iconic species create unique opportunities for rural development."
Wildlife Comeback in Europe was funded by valuable grants from the Swedish Postcode Lotteries, the Liberty Wildlife Fund and ARK Nature.