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.
Tag: natural grazing
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.
Results from the ongoing GrazeLIFE project demonstrate that natural forests, complete with naturally occurring populations of free-roaming herbivores, can boost biodiversity and reduce the scale and impact of climate change. The EU should take account of this in all relevant strategy and policy going forwards.
Restoring natural areas to their healthy and varied state lead to benefits that are not to be underestimated. Other than holding more water, preventing soil erosion, and creating a habitat for wildlife, wild and varied grasslands has a natural way of storing and sequestering CO2 (carbon dioxide). What if curbing our emissions would not only mean to give up and hand in, but actually lead to the highly visual and experiential restoration and protection of European wilderness?
Imagine a magnificent wild stallion crossing a shallow, braided river, using natural gravel beds as stepping stones – it’s hard to think of a more spectacular Dutch wildlife experience. Today this phenomenon can be witnessed regularly when hiking the restored floodplains of the River Meuse on the Belgian-Dutch border.