A herd of 40 Konik horses has just been released onto two islands in the Ukrainian part of the Danube Delta. Following the translocation of 23 animals to the island last year, this new group will further enhance wild nature through their grazing and aid the development of nature-based tourism.
At the beginning of December, 4 red deers and 12 fallow deers were released on the Ermakov island in the Danube Biosphere Reserve in Ukraine as part of a rewilding partnership between Rewilding Ukraine and the island’s concessioners, Ermak Ltd. The mission of animals is to complete the composition of large fauna in the Danube Delta, diversify the natural grazing process on the island and to promote the development of ecological tourism in the region.
In July 2020, three young owls born earlier this year at the Odessa Zoo were released in the Ukrainian part of the Danube Delta into the Danube Biosphere Reserve. This was the second phase of the owl reintroduction program to the Danube Delta, lead by Rewilding Ukraine together with partners. Two birds were tagged by GPS transmitters, to track how they would move around the delta.
At the end of May, a field expedition organized by Rewilding Ukraine to conduct scientific counts of the Dalmatian pelican and a photo mission took place in the Ukrainian part of the Danube Delta, as part of the “Pelican Way of LIFE” project. The counts were conducted by Maxim Yakovlev, an ornithologist at the Danube Biosphere Reserve, who has been photographing nature and the inhabitants of this picturesque region for more than 15 years. He was assisted by zoologist Alexander Gaidash.
Mykhailo Nesterenko, a biologist and leader of the rewilding team in Ukraine, explains what rewilding is, what this new approach can give to the nature and people of the Danube Delta, and what challenges and hopes the Ukrainian team faces. He also shares some of his own background and what rewilding means for him personally.