What makes a ‘rewilding’ effort successful

Researchers studied the effects of “rewilding” landscapes around the world, including the Peene River near Anklamer Stadtbruch, Germany. ©Solvin Zankl/Rewilding Europe

Regardless it’s focused on a river floodplain or an entire national park, the success of a restoration project depends on more than just the reintroduction of individual plant or animal species into an area. An international team of researchers found its success depends on more than helping the ecosystem regenerate. In a study of “rewilding” projects around the world, researchers looked at efforts to re-create landscapes as close to nature as possible. For them to work, researchers found, managers need to examine the ecosystem’s functions, analyze the disturbances and determine what measures need to be taken to restore the processes that have been disrupted — all while minimizing human intervention. One other key, researchers say, is for managers to involve local residents.

Read the study in Science.