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8 Animals Who Almost Disappeared From Europe

8 Animals Who Almost Disappeared From Europe
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Yes, conservation efforts do work.

A number of animals who had all but disappeared in Europe have been making a comeback: that’s the cheering news from an analysis by the Zoological Society of London, Birdlife and the European Bird Census Council. Researchers looked at 18 mammals and 19 bird species across Europe and discovered that the numbers of all but one, the Iberian lynx, had increased since 1960.

Rewilding Europe commissioned the report. As Frans Schepers, the organization’s director, says to the BBC:

“People have this general picture of Europe that we’ve lost all our nature and our wildlife.

“And I think what the rest of the world can learn from this is that conservation actually works. If we have the resources, a proper strategy, if we use our efforts, it actually works.”

Legal protections including a bird directive and a habitat directive, limits on hunting and changing demographics — people leaving rural areas for the city — have all played a part.

1. European bison

The largest herbivore in Europe, the European bison or wisent went extinct in the wild in the early 20th century as a result of hunting and habitat loss. Wild populations were reintroduced in central and eastern Europe, with a stronghold in Poland and Belarus, after a large-scale breeding program. The total population is now almost 3,000 individuals.

2. Eurasian beaver

Once widespread in Europe and Asia, the Eurasian beaver‘s numbers were drastically reduced to some 1,200 individuals in the early 20th century as a result of hunting for its fur and castoreum (a substance from their castor sacs used in perfumes, for medicinal purposes and as a flavoring for food). By 2006, the beavers’ numbers resurged to 639,000.

3. Grey wolf

The wolf’s numbers have grown by 30 percent in the past few decades. The return of the wolf — especially to Western European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands — is unnerving farmers, some of whom have lost sheep or other livestock to the predators.

4. White-headed duck

A migratory species that winters in Spain, the white-headed duck’s numbers have experienced a very rapid decline due to the draining and drying out (in part due to climate change) of the lakes in Central Asia where it breeds, and to competition from the socially dominant non-native North American Ruddy Duck. An estimated 7,900-13,100 individuals remain. In Spain, the decline in the duck’s numbers in Spain has been halted thanks to a ban on hunting.

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115 comments

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5:49AM PDT on Jun 1, 2014

thanks for sharing :)

1:13PM PST on Nov 24, 2013

Wildlife and their habitats are disappearing in the US and Canada due to the terrorism exhibited by corporate controlled government agencies such as USDA and Fish and WIldlife "Services" (and their counterparts in Canada) and by the corporate criminals they represent.

3:45PM PST on Nov 13, 2013

great news!!!

2:51AM PDT on Oct 12, 2013

IF..government had guts......THEY WOULD PASS A LAW TO REDUCE OUR OVERPOPULATION....BUT THEN POLITICIAN DONT CARE ABOUT THIS BIG PROBLEM ALL THEY CARE ABOUT IS TO BE RE ELECTED!

LESS PEOPLE...MORE WILD LIFE!

10:07AM PDT on Oct 11, 2013

thanks

10:50AM PDT on Oct 8, 2013

I find the bison to be very interesting. Was it native to Europe and brought to America or vice versa?

8:31PM PDT on Oct 6, 2013

ty

4:14AM PDT on Oct 5, 2013

Kudos to all who help the flora and fauna of this world in any way they can :-)

4:06AM PDT on Oct 4, 2013

It proves that we can ... if we will!

2:48AM PDT on Oct 4, 2013

Thanks for sharing interesting info

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