Here’s a nice account of various projects aiming to back-breed aurochs and what’s been achieved over the last six years:
In my guest blog at Miles King’s blog here, I mention the ’empty forest syndrome’, a term coined by Kenton Miller in the early 90s to describe the implications of depletion of large animals from tropical forests. Here are some key references:
I’d like to see a new sort of land designation in the UK to sit next to National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. I’m calling these ‘New Natural Areas‘, for want of a better term. Or maybe just Natural Areas.
These New Natural Areas might initially take the form of rewilding pilot sites, capturing a representative sample of biogeographical situations (coastal areas, connecting floodplain-river systems, grassland-woodland mosaic etc). They would probably occupy the most marginal lowland and upland farmland, areas that are farmed purely to yield farm subsidies.
As well as facilitating the recovery of near-natural landscapes, New Natural Areas would host new nature-based economies.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) as an interesting piece exploring such opportunities. The EIB has established a Natural Capital Financing Facility to help finance just these sorts of nature-based enterprises. I assume that UK entrepreneurs will not be able to tap into this facility post-Brexit, so the UK government will need to consider how it can provide such support itself.
Here’s a nice short film about rewilding with ‘wild’ horses at the Rhodope Mountains.
Will we ever be able to visit Stonehenge and see Konik horses with Tauros (back-bred in an attempt to replicate the ecological role of aurochs) and maybe bison grazing near the stone circle as I suggested here?
Micheal Gove, the UK government’s Environment Secretary, has ideas about what to do with the £3 billion handed by the UK tax payer to UK farmers every year. He appears to be thinking along the right lines: pay farmers who deliver public benefits (such as recovery of wildlife wiped out on UK farms):