Once Europe was home to hundreds of thousands of plant and animals species. This was partly due to the presence of many large herbivores such as aurochs, European bison, wild horses, wild ass, deer, wild boar, ibex, chamois or saiga. Natural grazing by these species contributed to the existence of grasslands, herbaceous fields, thickets, forest and all the transitions in between.
Most of these landscapes have disappeared and been replaced by a fragmented patchworks of crop fields, production forests, monotone meadows. Aurochs and wild horses were domesticated, we’ve changed them into out modern day livestock. Other large herbivore species were hunted, driven into the far corners of Europe or into Asia or were exterminated. Thus disappeared the ecological integrity of our landscapes. For a while, the ecological role of wild grazers was taken over by extensive livestock grazing, but due to worldwide economical markets, these traditional systems of extensive husbandry have also disappeared.
Reintroducing large grazers, rewilding horses and bovines to reclaim the niche of their wild ancestors, reinstates the ecological integrity between plants and animals. Natural processes once again are into operation. This will enrich our nature and ecosystems.