Who looks after Europe’s bison?
It’s an interesting question – even more interesting, perhaps, if you didn’t know Europe was home to bison in the first place.
Slowly but surely, large mammals are returning to Europe. This is thanks in large part to EU laws and targeted conservation efforts to support what’s known as wildlife comeback. In fact, certain species are flourishing. European bison, the largest herbivores in Europe, were fully extinct in the wild at the turn of the 20th century. Today, there are 33 herds across Central and Eastern Europe, a total of 2,759 bison. Populations of Eurasian beavers, grey seals and Iberian ibex have also surged since the mid-20th century.
The Birds and Habitats Directives, known together as the Nature Directives, are one of the strongest tools Europe has for making sure these and many other indigenous species are protected. These laws regulate destructive activities like hunting and capturing, whilst promoting the implementation of initiatives like protecting breeding grounds and habitats, and reintroduction to the wild.
However, these directives are currently under review, and ClientEarth is concerned that a redraft could weaken the core values of the directives, with worrying implications for the species and habitats they protect. We and our campaign partners want to make sure that these laws are not compromised as a result of the review.
The public consultation is currently underway: the Commission have released a survey, which asks several questions.To ensure European law continues to protect these vulnerable species, use the tool below. Clicking “Take Action Now” will take you to a page of suggested answers that will best protect nature, ready to submit.
UPDATE: The public consultation has been extended by two days, now closing SUNDAY. This is a huge opportunity to add more voices to the consultation. Please sign and share!