Achievements to date
A lot of effort has been spent to ensure that the rewilding project is becoming firmly anchored in two main communities in the outer delta, as well as with the relevant authorities at several levels.
- A key concept that we are working to develop in two places in the Danube Delta is that of ”Community wildlife conservancies”. Alongside the work to reintroduce missing species, we are also helping to develop wildlife watching tourism which can provide more income and opportunity to these communities. Part of that work is to help develop rewilding enterprises that create business, jobs and income to the people who live here.
- An MoU has been signed between the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve Authority (DDBRA) and WWF Romania about the development of the rewilding area.
- A social survey with very positive results was carried out about the local attitudes towards a possible beaver reintroduction in the area.
- Feasibility studies for the reintroduction of beavers and deer were commissioned to the ICAS research centre at the Brasov Wildlife Department, and both are concluded.
- The Beaver has recently colonized the lower Danube, at the gate of the Delta, and we are monitoring the first family groups through camera trapping and communicating about the comeback of the species into the Delta.
- The first contacts with local stock breeders in Sfantu Gheorghe has brought good opportunities for a Tauros breeding site on some of the communal land, starting with a couple of ancient breeds already present in the area and Sayaguesa cattle to be brought from Spain.
- Clear steps have been taken and regular meetings had in order to set up a possible Community wildlife conservancy in the Sfantu Gheorghe village.
- Geographical boundaries of a possible conservancy in Sfantu Gheorghe have been identified together with the local stakeholders.
- A first inventory has been carried out of the existing local businesses in Sfantu Georghe, to identify which that might be of relevance to further development of the rewilding agenda, including business advice, possible loans and investment.
- Rewilding Europe Capital has secured the first loan in the area to a fisherman and entepreneur to improve his touristic lodging and start wildlife watching operations.
- Several international media have been brought in through Rewilding Europe’s contacts to report from the Danube Delta (from Sweden, the Netherlands and Germany).
- Two photo missions have been completed delivering top quality imagery of the Danube Delta, both on land, from the air and underwater.
- Major regional outreach for the rewilding initiative has been created through our participation in the two editions of the ”ROWMANIA Festival” and in the Pelicam Film Festival (2014) in the regional capital Tulcea.
- A Rewilding Danube Delta website is under development and a Rewilding Romania facebook page has been created.
- A three-day visit to the delta was hosted for four prize winners in a Dutch nature conservation contest. The visit was organized by Rewilding Europe in cooperation with WWF Romania, and it was covered in depth by two leading Dutch newspapers.
- Roll ups, brochure, executive summary and general fact sheet have been produced and the Rewilding Europe youtube trailer translated into Romanian.