Our recent GrazeLIFE symposium was attended by 335 participants from 38 countries. The event was the culmination of a three-year study which set out to identify best practices of grazing that benefit both nature and people, with outcomes inextricably linked to climate and biodiversity. The final report was handed over to the European Commission’s Director for Natural Capital at the Directorate-General for Environment, Humberto Delgado Rosa.
The next iteration of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is about to be ratified. While those involved have declared it to be “greener and fairer”, there is serious concern that it will be even more destructive for climate and biodiversity. A new report from the GrazeLIFE consortium outlines how and why European policies must provide far more support for low-intensity grazing.
Invasive alien plant species form a serious challenge in many areas across Europe, where their rapid spread can severely impact ecosystems. A natural solution may be present in the form of (natural) grazing, where herbivores can suppress or even eliminate the proliferation of invasive species. In this blog, we look in more detail at the case of Amorpha fruticosa, or false indigo-bush, which causes major problems, particularly in the Danube basin, and for which extensive grazing can offer a solution.
About a thousand years ago, large, wild herbivores started to disappear from Europe. Hunting, poaching and loss of biotope led to their decline. And with the vanishing of those large animals, their behaviour and its influence on the environment stopped too. Not only their grazing behaviour and its effect on vegetation but also the wallowing, rooting and digging. As for the last one, wild bulls used to dig pits in the rutting season to impress the opponents and the cows. As it appears now, these pits were hotspots for pioneer plants and insects.
iDiv-based PhD student Julia Rouet-Leduc has just completed a review of the benefits of different types of grazing. As part of the ongoing GrazeLIFE project, her work will inform the discussion about how to create a more supportive policy environment for these various grazing systems in Europe. In this blog, she walks us through some of the findings from her literature review.
Remarkable observations on reintroduced herbivores in the Rhodope Mountains give an insight into how different species make use of a shared defence strategy against predators. A promising indicator of their adaptive capacity to living in the wild and a prelude to the reintroduction of complex grazing systems in rural Europe.
Beetles in newspaper headlines. Wild bees in the evening news. Entomologists on prime time talk shows. The latest research results on the state of insect populations in Germany and the Netherlands hit the Dutch media like a bomb in 2019.