European Rewilding Network

Within Rewilding Europe we of course recognise that our work is part of a broader European rewilding movement, within which many great and inspiring initiatives have already developed over the last decades, while also new projects are being started up all across the continent. In order to inspire all of us, we have launched the ”European Rewilding Network”.

Although every initiative is unique and has its own opportunities linked directly to the specific area and people involved, in our opinion it is very worthwhile to exchange knowledge. The European Rewilding Network aims to establish a living network of many rewilding initiatives, to support rewilding in Europe as a conservation tool.

  • European Rewilding Network members:
  • Rewilding Europe areas
  • Other rewilding initiatives

All initiatives joining the Network are included into a database and can be easily located. The members are enabled to directly connect with similar initiatives in Europe, and are connected with Rewilding Europe itself. They become even more visible to the outside world as being part of a pan-European movement for active rewilding initiatives, and are encouraged to share their gained knowledge and experiences.

Rewilding Europe will facilitate this process through the online Network. Also, members of the Network receive additional information through specific training, learning seminars and exchange visits that will positively contribute to the work we are all involved in: Making Europe a Wilder Place.

Several main topics members are looking forward to share experiences on within the European Rewilding Network are: Successful species reintroductions (e.g. griffon vulture, beaver, European bison); How to raise public interest and attention through nature education and communication; The preservation of natural systems, for example restoring wetlands; How to involve and work together with local communities; and Professional wildlife watching and photography tourism development.

Eurasian wolf, Canis lupus, Eurasian brown bear, Ursus arctos and Raven, Corvus corax in Kuhmo, Finland.

Eurasian wolf, Eurasian brown bear and raven in Kuhmo, Finland
Staffan Widstrand / Wild Wonders of Europe

We are very pleased to invite rewilding initiatives to become a member of the European Rewilding Network which are related to one or more of the below mentioned elements.

  • For now, our focus is on the EU-countries, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Belarus, Ukraine and European Turkey.
  • Large or medium-scale rehabilitations of natural processes, including large herbivores, large carnivores and/or scavengers being present.
  • Successful working examples or agreements with water management entities about changing water management methods in rivers, lakes, streams, estuaries, shores, peat systems, polders, etc., to allow for natural processes (flooding, inundation, tidal dynamics, erosion, sedimentation, etc.) to shape these systems.
  • Pilot projects focusing on supporting one or more key wildlife species being present in more natural densities, showing their role in the different ecosystems.
  • Re-introductions and re-stockings of locally extinct or rare key wildlife species, or breeding of such species with the goal to later release these wildlife species into the wild.
  • Methods and experiences to allow natural numbers and densities of native, wild or rewilded species, like hunting restrictions, ‘no-take’ zones, cooperation with the European Wildlife Bank and enabling a further comeback of wildlife species.
  • Successful working examples or agreements with forestry entities about changing forestry practises into more nature-based management systems allowing for a more natural (age) structure of forests, natural densities of herbivores, natural supply of dead wood, the impact of wind and snow, natural fire regimes, and working at a large scale.
  • Successful working examples or agreements with hunting entities about sustainable hunting, lowering hunting quotas, the creation of ‘no-take’/”wilderness experience” zones and the development of wildlife watching tourism, in order to bring back wildlife in their natural numbers.
  • Successful working examples or agreements with sea or freshwater fisheries and/or managers about sustainable fishing, the creation of ‘no-take’ zones and the development of sustainable tourism connected to the fish and water resource, in order to bring back fish, wetland birds and other marine/freshwater wildlife in their natural numbers.
  • Successful examples of enterprises that are based on one or more of the many economic values of the wild (e.g. the tourism value of wild nature, wildlife watching, recreational possibilities, sustainable source of drinking water, sustainable harvesting of natural products, bees for the fruit growing industry, etc.) and that contribute to rewilding through generating revenues, business, jobs and income, which in turn create incentives for wildlife comeback and rewilding.
  • Successful examples of initiatives that address to reduce human-wildlife conflict, creating a support for, acceptance of and tolerance of species that are present, and showing tangible benefits/reduced problems for people that live where these species live, or are coming back.
  • Projects creating local pride and common ownership and responsibility for wild nature amongst land owners, communities and resource users, leading to new alternative uses of land, water and sea with the wild values at the core. Individuals, groups of landowners and communities have joined based on common management of wild land.
  • Projects based on a stewardship anchored in the respect for the land, water, and all living things, with a management striving to support natural processes and utilize nature’s own mechanism wherever possible.

If you wish to publish your project on this site you can fill and submit the new project form.

If you would like to join the Network or if you would like any further information, please contact Mei Elderadzi at mei.elderadzi@rewildingeurope.com

Rewilding Europe does not represent the actions of members of the European Rewilding Network.


Fact sheet

Download the “European Rewilding Network” fact sheet here:

European Rewilding Network fact sheet