Swamp forest, Danube delta rewilding area, Romania

Vision and objectives

Initially, the focus will be on the outer, maritime part of the delta with it’s sand dunes, untamed river arms, meadows, lakes, reed beds, salt marshes, and woodlands. Two ‘core’ areas have been identified around the two villages of C.A. Rosetti and Sfântu Gheorghe respectively, which will serve as the starting points for the rewilding actions. With the incentive of creating “communal wildlife conservancies” - the first of their kind in Europe - missing wildlife species such as red deer and beaver will return and natural grazing systems will be promoted using wild-living horses, cattle, and maybe even the European bison. The issues around some old habits - like poisoning of predators - needs clarification and, if still existing, need to be remedied. With the wolf living not far from the delta, a natural come-back would be possible, provided that there is an acceptance for the species from the major local parties.

Outside investors will be encouraged to get involved in investing in the conservation enterprises, run by professional operators in collaboration with the local communities. To improve the wilderness experience for the visitors, some existing infrastructures – old electric power lines and ruins without historical value – will be removed. Potential wilderness/rewilding areas in the rest of the delta will be identified, and the principle of wild nature and wilderness will be promoted as part of local development plans and the management plan for the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve. Collaboration will also be sought with surrounding areas, like the Dobrogea Hills with the Macinului Mountain National Park.