Rewilding the Carpathians

Rewilding the Carpathians

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Protect Europe's wildest ecosystem from illegal logging and hunting.

The Carpathians have the largest populations of large carnivores in Europe as well as the largest percentage of virgin woodlands in the continent. It's a unique wilderness treasure that if lost will take centuries to recover. 

This is where you come in! We are working to provide salaries for rangers and forest engineers, vehicles for patrol, field equipment, GPS, and fuel. Read the full story below.

Our goal is to bring this project to life so that you can really feel your impact and one day visit there yourself. As such each Rewilding the Carpathians contribution comes with:

🌐 A unique 360° photo of your personal area in the Făgăraș Reserve

🗺️ The GPS coordinates of each location so you can later visit the exact spot

📨 Regular updates on the development of the project

The next batch of 360-degree photos will be collected and sent out in June!

True Wilderness

The Carpathian Mountains in Romania have some of the most intact ecosystems in Europe

These mountains are a treasure of biodiversity and a shared heritage that should remain for future generations to enjoy peacefully.

What makes this ecosystem so special?

  • Old growth forests in Europe have become extremely scarce, the Carpathian Mountains represent the biggest unfragmented area of wilderness in Europe
  • The Carpathians are home to the largest populations of large carnivores in Europe
  • The area is home to an extraordinary range of endemic species

One of the reasons this area has remained untouched for so long and is as pristine as it is today lies in Romania’s communist history.

Romania before 1989

Following World War II, large campaigns for the nationalization of forests completely changed forest structures in Romania. By 1989 and the end of the Communist regime, all the Romanian forests were State-owned. The nationalization process came together with an increase in infrastructure such as logging roads. In a lot of areas, tree cover changed from mostly deciduous trees to the fast-growing Norway Spruce to increase yield of wood in the future. 
 
Meanwhile, the amount of wildlife surged, mostly because of strictly enforced anti-poaching laws and the release of animals such as the brown bear. It is said that the former dictator Ceaușescu being a terrible hunter is the reason for the exceptionally high number of bears in the area. Unable to hit the target his aides set up a programme to increase bear populations so that he could shoot one. Today, we can still see the result of this increase in wildlife populations.

Following the end of the Cold War in 1989

A collapse in the Romanian economy slowed down timber harvests and had positive effect on ecosystems. However, after a decade or so, forest exploitation resumed more intensely than ever before. Forests that were nationalised before 1989 were largely restituted. Newly privatised and communal forests have been clear cut at an alarming rate and the democratization of hunting has caused dramatic decline in wildlife. 

Although there is rising awareness about the dramatic situation of some of the last old-growth forest in Europe, action needs to be taken now, as logging continues to destroy these precious areas.

Taking action

Restitution, while being mostly detrimental for the forests, it is also an opportunity to purchase land. Our partners FCC have bought over 20,000 Hectares of forest to give it strict protection and prevent any damaging activity in the area. This old-growth forest is especially precious and unique in Europe. 

Mossy Earth and FCC have set up a partnership to allow you to sponsor a part of this ecosystem. This will cover an array of monitoring and protection costs including the salaries of rangers, forest engineers and ecologists. In return you will see your own beautiful piece of virgin forest brought to life in the digital realm through 360-degree photos and video. Also, we will provide you with the GPS coordinates to actually visit and enjoy this pristine environment.

Meet some of the locals!

Red Deer - Cervus elaphus
Brown Bear - Ursus arctos
Alpine Longicorn - Rosalia alpina
Chamois - Rupicapra rupicapra
Wolf - Canis lupus
Lynx - Lynx lynx