More good news coming from Europe, and this time the good news would be about wildlife species which made or are making comeback from the brink of extinction. Not one or two, but reports stated that there are around 50 species!
Of course, it is nice to hear such kind of news, but that’s not the only good news we need you to hear from us today. Even better news is, a lot of those species are top predators, meaning they are at the top spots in the circle of life.
So, how did those species make a comeback? What can we do to prevent future extinction of such species? Also, what would it mean to the environment to have top species comeback to our nature from the brink of extinction?
Here, in this article, we are going to talk about the great species comeback all across Europe.
The Great Comeback
A group of researchers from BirdLife International, ZSL’s Institute of Zoology and the European Bird Census Council worked together to compile a report. The report revolves around the look of 50 different wildlife species across Europe.
A lot of wildlife species is included in the study, starting from Eurasian beaver, Eurasian brown bear, European bison, gray wolf, white-tailed eagle, and humpback whales. From the report, it appears that several species are making comeback from the brink of extinction in the last 40-50 years.
The species mentioned above were described as struggling species to even exist, thanks to industrialization and modernization. However, with just a splash of attention to the nature, those species overcome the impossible.
The report said that human made important role in this recovery of nature, and when our will is combined with the resilience of nature it would result in such kind of magic. “Wild nature is resilient and can recover if conditions are suitable,” as stated in the report.
In short, the report stated that not only the nature will always find its way to restore itself, but also our actions are important to support that. If we just continue to walk without the nature beside us, then such kind of thing might not happen.
What are making the incredible comeback in this story? According to the report, additional 13 other species recently added from similar report from previous year. Includes six additional species of birds, six mammals, and one species of reptile.
In this case, grey wolves are the most iconic one. The predator used to roam freely across the continent, but in 20th century mistreatment from human made them almost entirely vanished from the planet.
Habitat destruction and poaching are the two greatest factors contributed to this problem. However, conservation aided the comeback and since 1970s their population have boomed 1,800% to around 17,000 individuals.
European bison also showed incredible number by increasing in number for 399% since 1970s. Lesser number in growth, but not less important news, is the boom of brown bear population. Since 1960s the number of the species has been increasing by 44%.
All of them mentioned above are keystone species which mean their roles in the nature cannot be replaced by other species. Even though other species have the same size and habits, there are other important roles that only keystone species can fulfill.
Thanks to Species Reintroduction
One action that needs to be appreciated in this agenda is the reintroduction of species, especially for the large carnivores. Large carnivores are not only predators, but also the protector for weaker animals.
For your information, conservation is always easier when it includes cuddly and cute species, but for large carnivores it is not that easy. Support from public is far less for the huge carnivores because of centuries of misleading information about their scary habits and threats.
Whereas for the cuter animals, public will always see them as vulnerable and weak. However, again we should understand that nature cannot stand alone relying on the cute animals. Those big carnivores also play important role to make sure the distribution of the weaker animals safe and succeed.
“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,” as mentioned by the author of the report.
Of course, it may result in betterment of the environment. “In turn, this can lead to increased tree regeneration at these locations,” as mentioned by the author. Therefore, reintroducing big carnivores to their natural habitat is more protective to the nature than posing threat to it.
Human Roles in the Comeback
Talking about the comeback, we should also talk about how human play important role in the spectacular comeback of wildlife in Europe. In fact, in this case, we play pretty important role whether we have special ‘power’ or not.
First is actively conducting conservation for wildlife, especially for endangered species. It can be done scientifically such as assisted breeding and nurturing young endangered species in a safe place where it can grow into a stronger state. Later, we can reintroduce them to their natural habitat.
In addition to that, we can also do it politically by keep pushing for natural habitat protection where the wildlife live. This one is also important because without that natural habitat there will be no place for the young animals to be reintroduced.
The next is by spreading awareness about the importance of biodiversity in the nature. In this story, indeed researchers and political figures have important roles for the great comeback. However, we as ‘ordinary human’ can also contribute by spreading awareness to more people so that the efforts get more attention.
Each species plays their own role in the nature, and sometimes their roles cannot be replaced by other species. We need to be more aware of that, and never underestimate the power of biodiversity.
In addition to all of those mentioned above, awareness about the danger of introducing invasive species should also be added to the agenda.
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