With wildlife suffering dramatic declines due to climate change and habitat loss, conservation efforts across Europe have seen several mammal species make strong comebacks.
A new report by the Zoological Society of London, BirdLife International and the European Bird Census Council for Rewilding Europe documents “exciting” recoveries.
Brown bears began to decline during the Roman Empire, but the report says their numbers have increased by 44% to more than 50,000 since 1960. Europe’s beavers started to decline in the 17th century due to hunting, with only about 1,200 still living by the 20th century. But between 1960 and 2016, their numbers increased by 16,000% as their range expanded.
Crabs vs Mussels
Warming waters of the English Channel due to climate change have allowed the normally migratory and ravenous spider crabs to infest the French coast most of the year and ravage its mussel population.
Mussel farmers in Normandy and Brittany are demanding they be allowed to use dredging nets to drag the crabs farther out to sea to protect their shellfish and livelihoods. “They are like a carpet moving slowly across the seabed, ravaging anything on the ground and leaving nothing in their wake,” said Vincent Godefroy, the president of the National Mytiliculteurs (mussel farmers) Group. He said his members first noticed the invasion about five years ago,