Wolves, brown bears and bison are some of the species that have made an unexpected comeback in Europe over the last half century, according to a major report from Rewilding Europe.
The Wildlife Comeback Report discovered certain species had boosted both population size and geographical range over the previous 40 to 50 years, thanks to better legal protection, habitat restoration, wildlife corridors and reintroductions.
The Eurasian beaver, grey seal, and European bison showed the strongest return among mammals. Wolves are readily recolonising where humans allow, and bear populations have risen by 44 percent since 1960.
The barnacle goose, griffon vulture, great white egret and Dalmatian pelican are also doing well. The west coast of Scotland and the Isle of Wight are home to growing populations of white-tailed eagles, with 12,500 pairs spread over much of Europe.
The report was commissioned by Rewilding Europe and compiled by the Zoological Society of London, BirdLife International and the European Bird Census Council.
Rewilding Europe’s executive director, Frans Schepers, said: “By learning from the success stories we can maximise wildlife comeback across the board. The report also shows that we must work hard on many fronts to keep the recovery continuing to happen and to allow more species to benefit.”