Achievements to date
- During this first year, the Southern Carpathians has concentrated on creating a support base for the rewilding concept in the project area through a series of meetings with local people, stakeholder meetings, feasibility studies, GIS mapping and planning.
- The rewilding area is part of the (larger) South Western Carpathians Wilderness Area project, run by WWF Romania and covering 11 Protected Areas and the present rewilding area itself. So there is good scope for further expansion over time for the rewilding activities.
- Agreement reached with the Romanian government on criteria for identification and inclusion of pristine forests in stricter protection status (Ministerial Order).
- Draft guidelines for management of forest reserve areas with bark beetle outbreaks developed and submitted to Romanian government, to promote as a key natural process and non-intervention policy.
- Potential boundaries and zoning (core, buffer & transition areas) of key wilderness areas identified and mapped (GIS) within the larger rewilding area.
- Managers of hunting areas, game and forest managers approached about initiating non-intervention management measures (e.g. creation of no-hunting areas).
- A Technical Wilderness Group established with the directors and biologists of Protected Areas from the South-Western Carpathians Wilderness Area, and discussions held to realise this large area.
- Inventory and verification of pristine forests areas has been performed in Tarcu Mountains N2000 area and request was made of decision makers for their protection.
- Feasibility study of re-introduction of European bison carried out, with the most suitable area identified and agreed for re-introduction in Tarcu Mountain Natura 2000 site.
- Meetings with local entrepreneurs were held to explore first ideas for business opportunities.
- Existing businesses and facilities were identified and checked (e.g. potential wildlife watching hides), however work was put on hold due to lack of local capacity and focus of central team enterprise support on other rewilding areas initially.
- Very intense engagement with local stakeholders, authorities and communities to introduce the concept of rewilding and create support for the initiative in the region.
- Photo mission completed delivering high quality imagery of the Southern Carpathians.