Top predators making a comeback in Europe

| December 24, 2013 | Reply

Across Europe predators have been (and sadly sometimes still are) heavily persecuted. But thanks to legal protection and conservation efforts many are making a comeback and their numbers are increasing.

A new report by the Zoological Society of London, BirdLife International and the European Bird Census Council (EBCC) for the Rewilding Initiative lists many species that have made a comeback in Europe.
The report which can be downloaded as a PDF is several hundred pages long and gives very detailed and scientific information about each species. The report focuses on birds and mammals and beside predators many other large mammals are also covered like Red Deer, European Bison, White Stork or Common Crane.

Some numbers are even better than in the report. For example the report gives 630-660 pairs for the White-tailed Eagle in Germany (2010). Current numbers (2013) are already at about 750 pairs. The White-tailed Eagle has shown a spectacular increase in many countries in central, northern and eastern Europe and it will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
The Spanisch Imperial Eagle has already reached 407 pairs with 11 in Portugal and 396 in Spain (see here: Castilla-La Mancha es la región con más parejas de áquila imperial).

The following predators are listing in the report (I treat each species as a predator that eat’s mainly other vertebrates. That includes vultures).

  • Golden jackal
  • Grey wolf
  • Eurasian lynx
  • Iberian lynx
  • Wolverine
  • Grey seal
  • Harbour seal
  • Brown bear
  • Dalmatian pelican
  • Lesser kestrel
  • Saker falcon
  • Peregrine falcon
  • Red kite
  • White-tailed eagle
  • Bearded vulture
  • Griffon vulture
  • Cinereous vulture
  • Spanish imperial eagle
  • Eastern imperial eagle
  • Roseate tern

Of course there is still much to do. Many species are still endangered by habitat destruction, persecution or other threads like electrocution.
For example, illegal poisoning of raptors still affects many eagle species like White-tailed Eagles, Golden Eagle and both the Spanish and Eastern Imperial Eagle.
Wolves are still illegally shot and hunting quotas for Eurasian Lynx or Brown Bears are still too high in some countries.

But the report clearly shows that conservation is working and those species can recover if we only let them.

More information:

Wildlife Comeback in Europe.

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Category: canines, cats, conservation, raptors

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