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Rewilding

Discussion in 'Flora & Fauna' started by Janne, Sep 7, 2019.

  1. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Rewilding - a phenomenon

    It seems it has become a strive to regain some locally ( = Britain) extinct species.
    Stork, sea eagle. Beaver, Boar. Maybe wolf.
    Worldwide, there are many ongoing projects. Some very successful. Some not. Some plain crazy.

    I recently read that in Britain there will be attempts to bring back the wild boar, and maybe the wolf and brown bear. My first thought was- WTF?

    Do not the people wishing to bring those species read and study what will happen when these animals get established in human population dense areas?
    Not giving a thought on WHY these animals were driven to extinction?

    Sweden established a wold population some decades ago, against the wish of farmers and the Reindeer owning Saames.
    The result is a quick spread of wolves, from the northern lands south, now they are even south of Stockholm. So far no human deaths, but pets dogs (mainly) cats and of course sheep, goats and reindeer.

    One positive effect is that they have reached the areas where wild boar are.
    Wild boar. Yes, the most destructive wild animal. A herd can devastate a potato or root veg crop field in a night or two. Gardens turn into a wasteland.

    Accidentally introduced in the south of Sweden decades ago, now they are in the southern half.

    The Wild boar is so destructive that the state took the decision to create an ‘open season’ on them, which means that if you have a Hunters License, you can bag them year round. The hunting has not made a huge dent in their population though.
    In the areas where the fallout after the Chernobyl disaster landed, the meat can be so heavily polluted that you are risking your health, which means not many are shot there.

    Alive, they are dangerous too. As the Swedes are huge nature lovers, encounters can turn nasty. My own sister had a close encounter with one a week ago ( hence this post, in fact!).

    Personally I love seeing and watching wild animals, but.......

    What do you think?
     
  2. EffyGent

    EffyGent Member

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    I think that in somewhere like Britain, wolf and bear introduction is just plain silly. There isn't the space in most places for the creatures to live fully without regularly encountering people

    Sent from my HUAWEI VNS-L31 using Tapatalk
     
  3. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    Noble thought but I don''t believe rewilding is a very good idea.
    If the ecological niches have closed in any way, the rewilded species cannot thrive.
    10,000(?) years of landscape modification has forever altered the opportunities.
    As the land goes, so go the plants and hence all the animal populations as well.

    You maybe think my place is wild enough to endure some changes?
    Wrong.
    Small changes in particular landscape ecosystems have had profound effects upon the survivorship of animal species.
    Take a look at our lists of invasive species and our lists of At Risk and Endangered species.
     
  4. demographic

    demographic Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Thought that there was already a few places in the UK with wild boar anyway?
    Can't see wolf territories extending past the closest grouse moor anyway. Protected or not the gamekeepers will shoot em, just as they have with most raptors.

    The wolves would certainly put a cap on deer numbers though and IIRC boar greatly aid the spread of the caledonian pine by eating bracken which shades the young trees.
     
  5. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    I know they are in East Sussex, courtesy of one of Paul McCartney’s wife’s I think.

    Tasty when young. Nasty when old, very tough.
    No natural predators, multiple litters each year from very young age.
     
  6. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    I recall the reason Sweden lost all Storks was because they drained all small wetlands
    , regulated larger streams and Brooks and created underground drainage all across Skania, the southernmost, agricultural part of Sweden. They lost their food, frogs, small fish.
    I do not think that those birds were on the human menu in Sweden.
     
  7. Sundowner

    Sundowner Full Member

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    Last thing I heard about wild boar is that they are spreading north. Would be good to have one or two in the freezer
     
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  8. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    100%. I just hope you never ‘harvest’ one with your vehicle. Hard, solid animals.
    Dad ( hunted boar since the 1940’) taught me that if you kill or even worse, wound a young one, it’s mother can be close and then attack you when you work on it. Same if you hit it with a car.
     
  9. Woody girl

    Woody girl Full Member

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    We used to have a wild boar farm about 8 miles away from where I live. Several years ago some animal activists cut the fencing and they escaped. Many were recaptured but not all. We now have wild boar on exmoor. So far I've never met one .but I've seen the signs. What with the wild cats (panther) and boar it's a bit worrying at times wild camping here !
     
  10. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Hopefully the Black Panthers will eat the Wild Boar and keep a good balance!

    I have had an unvoluntary encounter twice, One in Italy and one in Hungary.
    Sleeping 'under the stars' and woke up surrounded by them.
    They make a lot of noise!
     
  11. Van-Wild

    Van-Wild Forager

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    Wild boar are prevalent in most of the south of England. The new forest has a very healthy population. I've seen wild boar in south Wales up to Ross-on-wye. I've bagged a few myself. Very good eating and good for biltong making as well. So I don't think we need to 'rewild' any boar in the UK.....

    As for bears and wolves, someone's had too many Haribo..... this little island is simply too densely populated to support these creatures, beautiful though they are. The Scots had a melt down a few years ago when they reintroduced the Sea Eagle because it 'will devastate the sheep population'. Crikey, even owls are persecuted in the UK by over zealous farmers. Foxes, the most amazing little beasts, are shot in the droves by all unsundry because they have the intelligence to make good on a bumper crop of birds laid for us apex predators to shoot in the 1000s every year.....

    It'll never work. There's not enough space. Which is a crying shame.

    Sent from my SM-G903F using Tapatalk
     
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  12. baggins

    baggins Full Member

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    I used to breed 'wild' boar on an estate. They were well fenced in with electric fencing, and they were ace. But when the farm closed down and the boar were sold, a couple managed to escape. Boy did they cause damage to all the local gardens and allotments. Rewilding is an interesting idea though. It's not just the fauna, but the flora as well. I know that the Danish guy who is one of Scotlands largest land owners and said he's dedicated to rewilding his estates by slowly reintrducing native tree species as the mono culture tree blocks are harvested. But it is a very long term plan, and i believe he is being realistic in that he's not talking bear and wolves. Maybe smaller predators, but, as Janne says, on such a small island, that is now so densely populated, Apex predators just can't compete with the ultimate apex predator, humans! We only have to look at the persecution of raptors on a lot of the UKs estates, to see what would happen to further introduced species.
     
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  13. Borderer

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    It would be nice to think that we could look after the animals we have a little better rather than bringing in new ones. I can’t believe they want to reintroduce lynx which have been extinct here for I think 700 years and yet the Scottish wildcat is on the brink of extinction. We need to get our priorities right.
     
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  14. Woody girl

    Woody girl Full Member

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    Rewinding isn't just about animals , although they are an important part of the ecosystem. I'm attempting it on a small scale in my garden. Just allowing a small area to grow as it wants. It will be interesting to see what happens to it.
    So far I've had some nasturtiums that I know I didn't plant and a large clump of wheat. Also a sunflower though it didn't do too well for some reason or other.( I guess those were from the bird seeds.) And loads of cleavers and nettles. I may throw some wildflower seeds into the mix to give it a kickstart next spring.
    New neighbour moved in to the house backing onto my garden and we are talking about a new fence between our properties so I'm hoping we can agree on a hedgehog hole somewhere near my wild patch, and I'm thinking about a small pond in that area too. I'm going to have to remember to cut a small path to the compost bin though. I didn't do it this year and I havnt been able to access it for a while!
     
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  15. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    As said wild boar is now a native species in a lot if southern England but I've read years ago they were spotted into the Midlands and iirc up the east coast. They're established and spreading.

    I used to know someone who bred pigs as well as other animals for food. They did look at wild boar but they needed more infrastructure because they are escape artists. They ended up with iron age or old English pigs. Basically an attempt to recreate one of our earliest recorded reared pig species using wild boar and one of the older pug breeds. They were nasty animals and could actually jump higher than any pig or boar should have a right to.

    Rewilding? It's mostly just about the vegetation cover and remaining species not reintroduction of locally extinct species. In Scotland the son of a transportation magnate tried hard to set up a large scale wolf area. He stumbled on the open access situation up there in that no council would allow complete closure of land areas to human access. Too much outcry and loss of votes perhaps.

    England will never have wolves or bears roaming free except in strict zoo or drive through safari park type of setting. That's my view. It doesn't stop other reintroduction of former native species. Iirc there's a place or two where beavers were introduced. In one place it was as part of flood planning. The idea being their dam and other activities work to slow rainfall down thus reducing risk if high river waters through more built up areas.
     
  16. crosslandkelly

    crosslandkelly A somewhat settled

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  17. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Unique possibilities, brilliant ideas and execution.
    But, not many can possibly replicate this. They make a truck load of money on glorified camping. And receive lots of free cash.

    Farm? A very sizable country estate.

    IMO that is not rewilding. It would be if they removed all domestic animals, the camp site, the rest of the touristy things, and let it be. Maybe reintroduced the wisent?
     
    #17 Janne, Sep 15, 2019 at 3:05 PM
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019 at 3:17 PM
  18. Tengu

    Tengu Full Member

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    No Wisent here.

    Aurochs and Elk
     
  19. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    That I did not know, many thanks!
    Elk then. You can buy them from Sweden, plenty there.
    Or Russia, they are maybe more suitable as they have been farming them for many decades and have a semi domesticated strain
     

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