Rewilding is simply the act of leaving nature alone. This has been done on a grand scale in many areas of the world to help wildlife (especially endangered species) thrive and benefit the ecosystem. Obviously you can’t just reintroduce wild boar to the domestic towns, but we can leave nature alone in the areas where they used to roam, before human beings and corporate business got involved. A good example of this would be the oil industry devastating Alaskan wildlife, and the Exxon Valdex tanker spill, which is still causing issues today.
Rewilding is a beautifully illustrated book of inspiring stories, of wildlife brought back from the brink of extinction, through rewilding projects – returning animals and plants to places where they used to live. Conservation biologist David A Steen introduces children to the scientists who are turning back the hands of time, for a greener future. Read about awe-inspiring rewilding projects like:
- Wolves that returned to Yellowstone National Park, to drastically improve the local ecosystem
- Beavers reintroduced, to build flood-stopping dams
- Galápagos giant tortoises who survived extinction, to return to their island home
Throughout these heartwarming true stories, readers will learn how different species evolved to live side-by-side, and also learn what it takes to be a conservation scientist and wildlife activist. Children are left with the message that it’s not too late to fix the planet.
If you’re going to live by the river, make friends with the crocodile. Indian proverb
The author is founder of The Alongside Wildlife Foundation, which offers seed grants to those helping wildlife.
an inspiring true story of rewilding
Fourteen Wolves is the wonderful true story of how wolves (who disappeared from Yellowstone Park in the 1930s) were reintroduced, as the ecosystem began to collapse. Enormous herds of elk swarmed the plains, bears starved, rabbit families shrank and birds flew to new homes. Plants vanished, trees withered and rivers meandered. But in 1995, they were returned to the park and everything changed for the better. This book is the story of their homecoming, with beautiful artwork by London artist Jenni Desmon. Showing how every species plays an important part in protecting our planet.
Like dogs (they’re not related), wolves live around 14 years and mostly in packs. They do howl (but not at the moon, they’re just howling at each other to communicate). Very caring and playful, they are also wonderful parents. There are huge issues with wolf welfare in North America, as some have been hunted and (a bit like the issue here with badgers and cattle) wrongly blamed for the decline of caribou (a species of deer similar to reindeer). Wolves have been shot from helicopters and left to suffer and die, which has led to lots of conservationists and environmentalists suspecting this is more about politics, than real welfare of either creature.
So how can people everywhere help wild wolves? Like anything really. Just live simple sustainable lives, and avoid purchasing anything that would hinder their welfare (fur, dodgy souvenirs etc). Help to protect natural habitats by avoiding plastic, too much oil and timber or palm oil. And don’t visit zoos (wild wolves need a lot of land to roam in, and conservation of endangered species of best done in natural habitats, with experts monitoring progress, not zoo managers monitoring profits to take bored children to look at bored animals in cages). Catherine Barr worked for 7 years as a wildlife and forestry campaigner for Greenpeace and has a long-running interest in environmental issues.