-On the trail of bewitching bovines-
Along the southern end of Romania's arcing Carpathian Mountains, some of the continent's largest wilderness landscapes are the perfect setting for a true European safari, boasting diverse wildlife, memorable experiences and the chance to connect with nature. Rugged mountain chains, mixed forest and beautiful rivers provide a magnificent playground for intrepid travellers.
A little further a field, and of complete contrast the Danube Delta is Europe' vast wetland oasis. Home to flocks of dalmatian pelicans, hidden water ways and ancient forests, the area is a birding paradise. Explore by floating hotel, local guest house or even with a horse and cart.
The European bison (or wisent) disappeared from Romania about 200 years ago. Since 2013, Rewilding Europe and WWF Romania have been working together in the Southern Carpathians rewilding area to reintroduce this iconic species.
The first two bison releases took place in 2014 and 2015. In June 2016, a third bison release took place as part of the European Commission-funded LIFE Bison project, with a fourth release of nine animals taking place in April 2017. The major objective of this ongoing project is to create a demographically and genetically viable population in the Southern Carpathians, comprising free-roaming sub-populations in the Tarçu Mountains and nearby Poiana Ruscă Mountains. The total number of bison in the area, taking into account deaths and births, was 30 by the end of 2017.
Bringing back the European bison supports the conservation of this keystone species, as laid out in the IUCN Species Action Plan. It is also part of a larger rewilding initiative in Romania, with Rewilding Europe and WWF Romania working together to create one of the largest contiguous wild areas in Europe. Extending across 3 million hectares, this would encompass various protected areas and give the bison space to take their place in a landscape governed by natural processes.
Read more on Rewilding Europe