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Celebrating World Rewilding Day

ReWilding Explained | Stephan Harding from ReWild on Vimeo.

As the first World Rewilding Day (organized by the Global Rewilding Alliance) approaches on March 20, 2021, Rewilding Earth wants to highlight some recent global rewilding successes and ongoing work. Here are 20 different stories that help heal nature’s wounds and bring our world closer to ecological justice.

  1. Reintroduction and Survival of Mexican Wolves
    • Fronted by Dave Parsons, then with the US Fish & Wildlife Service now with The Rewilding Institute, the Mexican Wolf or Lobo has been reintroduced into the American Southwest. Their numbers rose to 186 in 2020 and are projected to rise again this year. The reintroduction of Lobos in the Southwest began over 2 decades ago; but in the past 5 years, their population has nearly doubled.  You can check out Project Coyote and Wild Arizona to help support Mexican Wolves.
  2. Dam Removal in 2020
    • Within the United States in 2020, 69 dams were removed, in stream restoration efforts. This led to over 624 upstream river miles for fish, other wildlife, and increased river health. A total of 1,797 dams have been removed in the U.S. since 1912. Learn more: here, here, and here.
  3. North Carolina Ruling on Red Wolves
    • A North Carolina Judge has ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must develop a plan to release more captive red wolves back into the wild. There are currently only 7 Red Wolves in the wild. Learn more.
  4. Beavers Return to Southwest England
    • Beavers have begun to return to Southwest England, after a 400 year absence, thanks to the Devon Wildlife Trust. Started more than a decade ago, beavers were bred in captivity, released carefully into relatively wild English streams, and now reside in 15 territories across England. Learn more.
  5. Biden’s Executive Orders and His Plan to Follow the 30×30 Initiative
    • Within his first month in office, President Biden signed a number of executive orders that helped wildlands and wildlife, including revoking a critical permit for the Keystone pipeline and restoring the original boundaries of Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, as protected by the Obama and Clinton administrations. Biden also announced his full support of the 30×30 initiative, to protect 30% of our nation’s lands and waters by 2030. Learn more.
  6. Jaguars return to Argentina’s wetlands 70 years after local extinction
    • Jaguars, a keystone species in Argentina, have been reintroduced into the Iberá wetlands, 70 years after the species was last observed in the region. With only 200 jaguars in Argentina, 9 will be released in this program. Learn more here and here.
  7. Iberian Lynx Wild Numbers Reach Over 1,000
    • From being on the brink of extinction with fewer than 100 wild Iberian lynxes in 2002, the population has amassed to over 1,000 thanks to a multitude of conservation methods. Yet their revitalization isn’t exclusive; prey species populations have grown along with a special interest in wildlife corridors. Learn more.
  8. 26 Tasmanian Devils Were Released
    • In 2021, 26 Tasmanian devils were released into a 400-hectare wild sanctuary. Led by Aussie Ark, the Tasmanian Devils are returning to Australia after a span of over 3,000 years. The goal is to bring back Australia’s ecosystems to that of pre-European settlement. Dingoes outcompeted them on mainland Australia, and they only survived on Tazmania where dingoes were not found. Yet, due to a fatal disease called Devil Facial Tumour Disease, their population has dropped more than 90%. Additionally, two more releases of 20 are planned for the coming year to reinstate the population. Learn more.
  9. Cloning of the Black-Footed Ferret
    • Named Elizabeth Ann, scientists have cloned a Black-Footed Ferret which is the first of any endangered species to be cloned. Using genes from a Black-Footed Ferret that died 30 years ago, scientists showed that a new form of revitalizing species could be underway. Learn more.
  10. River Otter Restoration
    • River Otters throughout the United States have mostly been restored to their historic range found before the 1800s. In the 22 states that reintroduced the otters, all but 2 have expanding populations. Learn more.
  11. Split Rock Wildway
    • Led by the Northeast Wilderness Trust, Eddy Foundation, Champlain Area Trails, and other land trusts, a wildlife corridor is being pieced back together. Its goal is to link Lake Champlain and its valley with the Adirondack High Peaks through the West Champlain Hills. Learn more.
  12. Sea Turtle Restoration Project
    • An Earth Island Project led by Todd Steiner, it focuses on helping protect sea turtles, whales, salmon, and other marine species from extinction and suffering. So far, they have restored over 100,000 square feet of crucial creekside habitat and closed down 250,000 square miles of the Pacific Ocean to the Hawaii longline swordfish fishery and the California driftnet fishery, to protect sea turtles and marine mammals. Learn more.
  13. Kissimmee River Restoration
    • Completed in 2015, it is the largest ecosystem restoration initiative to date. It restored more than 40 square miles of the Kissimmee River-floodplain ecosystem and almost 20,000 acres of wetlands and 44 miles of historic river channel. Learn more.
  14. Grizzly Times
    • Grizzly Times is an organization and publication that focuses on advocacy for grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. They work to conserve and recover grizzly bear populations and deter people from hunting them as trophies.
  15. Orianna Society
    • The Orianna Society is dedicated to the conservation of reptiles, amphibians, and the ecosystems they inhabit in the Southeast. They focus on conserving the Longleaf Pine ecosystems and helping protect the Altamaha River Corridor.
  16. Stopping Construction of United States-Mexico Border Wall
    • The Biden administration is halting construction of the border wall that separates the United States and Mexico. The wall has disrupted animal migration patterns and habitat for endangered species like jaguars and ocelots. The Center for Biological Diversity and other groups are calling for dismantlement of existing border wall and ecological restoration in key wildlife movement areas. Learn more.
  17. Creation of Northern Jaguar Reserve
    • Based in Sonora Mexico, the Northern Jaguar Reserve boasts over 58,000 acres of land to safeguard and protect jaguars from poaching and habitat destruction. It was founded in 2003 and 70+ jaguars have been photographed there. It also provides safe habitat for puma, ocelot, and bobcat. Learn more.
  18. Musk Ox Introduction
    • Since 2000, almost 4,000 muskoxen lived within Alaska, after past extirpation. By 1920, they had disappeared from Europe, Asia, and Alaska. In 1930, they were brought from East Greenland and thrived, with 750 oxen being reported in 1968.  Learn more.
  19. Arc of Appalachia
    • Focused in Southern Ohio, their mission is to restore and protect wildlife habitat on the edge of the Appalachian ecosystem. To date, they have raised over $16,000,000 to protect and restore many thousands of acres of forest. Learn more.
  20. Mapping the Heartland
    • The Rewilding Institute is joining an effort with BeWildRewild to map the heartland of the United States that envelopes the Mississippi Watershed. This work will help reconnect and restore wildlands, waterways, and wildlife across the Midwest and Great Plains. Learn more.

Spread Rewilding Around the Globe!

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