Grey Wolves, Brown Bears And Humpback Whales Are Making A Surprising Comeback In Europe

Brown bears, wolves, and humpback whales are all among 50 species making a comeback in Europe.

The animals that are growing were monitored for the latest European Wildlife Comeback report.

Many formerly-struggling species have experienced “spectacular” recoveries, including humpback whales, wolverines, and Eurasian otters.

The paper claims that “Wild nature is resilient and can recover if conditions are suitable.”

These suitable conditions are mostly the result of human activity, which makes habitat restoration and species reintroduction possible.

Much of the wildlife in Europe is still in danger. On the continent, one in five mammals and almost one in eight bird species still face extinction. However, the analysis of many of the species that have made remarkable comebacks in the research reveals “reasons for optimism.”

One of the most notable groups to witness a rebound is wolves.

Grey wolves formerly roamed the whole continent. However, due to human encroachment on their habitats and hunting, they came dangerously close to going extinct in the 20th century.

Population growth during the 1970s increased by 1,800% to 17,000.

Another animal making a great return as a result of these efforts is the brown bear. Populations have grown by 44% since 1960.

There have been increases in some animal species in all types of habitats. Since 1971, there have been 6,273% more grey seals. There were just 1,200 beavers in Europe at the turn of the 20th century. There are now more than a million.

Since 1971, the number of European bison has risen by 399%.

The giant herbivore is a “keystone” species, helping to preserve partly forested environments by consuming enormous amounts of shrubbery. It is one of the last surviving megafauna species on the planet.

Bans on hunting, committed reintroduction initiatives, and habitat restoration has contributed to most of these spectacular recoveries.

Supporting conservation efforts for adorable, cuddly creatures is simple. However, individuals sometimes have reservations about carnivores.

Many individuals believe that wolves and bears pose a threat to both humans and other creatures. For thousands of years, they have been the subject of local legends, devouring sheep and shepherds.

The advantages of reintroduction, however, significantly exceed the risks in the twenty-first century.

The health of the overall ecosystem is frequently improved by reintroducing and conserving fragile species in nuanced ways.

According to the report’s authors, “For example, Grey wolves in the Białowieża Primeval Forest in Poland have changed the distribution of (deer and wild boar) browsing by scaring browsing species away from certain areas.” 

Rebalancing population levels may revitalize a region since several species are dependent on one another in intricate ways, just like the food chain.

According to Sophie Ledger, the report’s principal author, “[Our] hope is that this report will reinforce the message that whilst it can be complex, wildlife recovery and coexistence is not only possible but essential for the health of our planet.”

Authorities can safeguard anyone who could be harmed by a reintroduction from predators. For instance, under EU legislation, farmers who lose cattle to wolf predation are entitled to full compensation.

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Written by Joe Kahlo

After years of writing in the financial industry, Joe was finally able to focus his writing on what he loves, Animals!