Living with success with wild large mammals in Europe’s anthropogenic landscape

The cumulative impact of human activities had driven most species of large mammals into severe declines and regional extinctions by the end of the Holocene (i.e. late 19th century and early 20th centuries). However, somewhat paradoxically with respect to global trends in species endangerment, the status of most European large mammals has dramatically improved during the transition to the Anthropocene as a result of reforestation, agricultural-abandonment, rural-urban migration, legislative change and active reintroduction (mainly driven by hunters).

The current wide distribution of European mammals reveals the enormous potential for conserving large mammals at a continent-wide scale. Nevertheless, this conservation success shouldn’t overshadow that sharing our landscape with large mammals requires active management policies to deal with the services and disservices brought by these charismatic species. By Benjamin Cretois from the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research.