Southern CarpathiansView website
Part of the £9m Rewilding Europe grant
At the southern end of the Carpathian Mountains in Romania, an initiative is underway to create one of Europe’s largest wilderness landscapes south of the Arctic Circle.
With a backbone of more than 1 million hectares of protected areas already in place, rich wildlife, large intact forests, a high concentration of biodiversity, relatively intact wild landscapes, wild rivers, and large areas of mosaic vegetation largely shaped by traditional farming and grazing practices, there is a unique opportunity to realise this vision.
The Carpathians host a rich variety of wildlife (wolf, Eurasian lynx, brown bear, wild cat, red deer, roe deer, wild boar, chamois and more). However, their numbers are still unnaturally low, partly due to the heavy hunting pressure in the past. The ongoing, large-scale farmland abandonment is an opportunity for wildlife return and has created an urgent need for new economic opportunities in these traditional rural areas.
With the conservation measures and the rewilding work in the region underway, new economic opportunities will arise. This, in combination with a spectacularly beautiful landscape, with high mountains and caves, as well as cultural attractions, the region has the potential to become a high-quality tourism destination for both domestic and foreign visitors.
The ERF grant will be used to assist Rewilding Europe in scaling up rewilding in this part of Europe.