Study credits conservation for comeback of some endangered European species

Wolves, bears, vultures and eagles all gaining in population

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Image credit: Flickr/dalliedee


It's always depressing to read about a species being endangered and headed toward extinction.

So I'm happy to report the opposite news: In Europe, many species previously dwindling in number have made comebacks and are no longer considered endangered, according to a study commissioned by the conservation group Rewilding Europe.

From the Zoological Society of London:

The results show that a wide-ranging comeback of iconic species has taken place in many regions across Europe over the past 50 years. Legal protection of species and sites emerged as one of the main reasons behind this recovery, while active reintroductions and re-stockings have also been important factors.

Among the species reversing previous declines in population are the "European bison, the Eurasian beaver, the white-headed duck, some populations of the pink-footed goose and the barnacle goose," the BBC reports. "These had all increased by more than 3,000% during the past five decades."

Brown bears doubled in numbers, while the gray wolf's population increased by 30%. Other species showing gains include eagles and vultures. The Iberian lynx was the only one of 18 mammal species not to register a health gain in population.

But good news overall.

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