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Achievements to date

In September 2013, a team from BBC World Service made a visit to the area and showcased it in TV, radio and web for millions of viewers, as an example of the wildlife comeback and the opportunities within rewilding.

Eurasian brown bear, Ursus arctos, at wildlife watching place, North Velebit National Park, Velebit Nature Park, Rewilding Europe rewilding area, Velebit mountains, Croatia

Staffan Widstrand / Rewilding Europe

 

 

Rewilding

•      Negotiations initiated with several potential sources of Balkan chamois (Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia), for re-stocking this subspecies into the Velebit mountains.

•    An archaeo-zoological study to try to find out the historical presence of large wild mammals has been completed, proving the existence of ibex and other species interesting for re-introductions.

•    A freshwater study has been completed, proving the importance of natural water resources for natural wildlife densities in the area (availability of summer water is a key limiting factor).

•    Mala Libinje, a site near Paklenica National Park, has been selected as breeding site for wild horses and for Tauros. A herd of 30 Bosnian mountain horses and a herd of 13 Boskarin cattle graze now in the area and have been included in the European Wildlife Bank.

 

•    A commissioned study on the ecological role of the bark beetle has been completed, emphasising the importance of the species as a key natural process in the area, opening up, diversifying and regenerating parts of the forest.

•  A hunting concession of almost 17,000 hectares is been secured to become a pilot area on no-take zones, reintroduction of wildlife and wildlife watching.

Enterprise


•     The first micro-loans from Rewilding Europe Capital have been awarded to local businesses with a rewilding component: Linden Tree Retreat & Ranch (to expand and refurbish the existing ranch accommodation and services), to Guslice & Melnice Honey (to expand their existing honey production capabilities and create alternative products) and Mons Baebius (to improve the existing accommodation). The loan also includes an annual rewilding levy in support of rewilding activities in Velebit.

•     A limited company has been set up to be able to sign commercial and other agreements with different local stakeholders for rewilding and enterprise activities.
•    Strong support has been expressed from the Ministry of Tourism to develop wildlife watching as a key economic activity in the Velebit area.
•    An inventory of existing local businesses has been carried out, which has identified a number of enterprises for potential further development.
•    Following a rewilding seminar in the village of Krasno (November 2012), strong enterprise related linkages established with local administration and land user groups.

Communication

•       A Dutch journalist reported from Velebit in a series of newspapers in November 2013, reaching about  a million readers in countries like The Netherlands, Belgium and Croatia.
•    A photo mission was successfully completed, providing a wide selection of top quality imagery for PR and information.
•     A Rewilding Velebit facebook page has been started up.