Wild herbivores like deer, aurochs, bison, elk and wild horses are one of the cornerstones within the plans of FREE Nature. By eating plants they shape the environment. Different sets of plants evolved together with their own set of wild herbivores. Weather it is ibex and chamois in the mountains, wild horses and aurochs on the plains, deer and bison in the woods or elk and beaver in water rich ecosystems, natural grazing is one of the main natural processes within our ecosystems.
Throughout the centuries and with human encroachment, many of the wild herbivores severely declined or even totally disappeared. Their place was taken by the domestic livestock. For centuries old ways of husbandry helped to maintain our landscapes. Technological development and the invention of chemical fertilizers changed this all again. Land use on productive soils increased, marginal areas, which couldn’t economical compete, where left. With humans leaving these areas, so did their livestock.
These systems are now to collapse and turn into dark forests. Many already threatened species depended on half open systems will disappear. Old ways of maintaining these landscapes are economically not vived anymore. But there is a solution. The return of wild animals. Under natural conditions and natural high densities they will shape our landscapes again and in a sustainable manner, and might even be a new economical driver in the form of ecotourism.