Last week Rewilding Rhodopes team hosted the first rewilding officers gathering in Eastern Rhodopes. For a week representatives of nine rewilding lanscapes from all over Europe, including from Italy, Scotland, Romania, Ukraine, Germany, etc., exchanged rewilding experience and knowledge.
The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss the use of innovative monitoring methods and elaborate on more effective analysis and processing of the data collected so far. During the meeting ideas for reporting and demostrating rewilding progress on the basis of regular observations and wildlife monitoring were also discussed. The exoperst also demonstrated some new monitoring methods using drones and thermo-devices. “Personally, I was particularly interested in learning more about Croatia’s rewilding experience and journey so far, where over 300 square kilometers of forests and lands on several hunting concessions are managed as a park for wildlife observation and nature-based tourism and enterprises,” commented Stefan Avramov, rewilding expert and representative of the Rewilding Rhodopes Foundation.
Among the most memorable and enjoyed parts of the program were undoubtedly the field visits to the rewilding area on the territory of the Eastern Rhodopes. The guests got to learn and visit bison, black vulture, red deer and fallow deer reitroduction and restocking sites in the Eastern Rhodopes, as well as meet some of our key partners and stakeholders.
In addition to benefiting nature, rewilding has always placed local communities in focus and among its priorities. Therefore, special attention was paid to identifying successful ways to communicate, involve more partners and local stakeholders, to support and develop nature based entrepreneurial initiatives and activities.