“Understanding the processes, mediator and times-scales involved during post-industrial ecological recovery will increasingly be on the agenda. While there is currently an expansion of industrialisation across the world, there will be the need to restore these ecosystems in the future and rewilding in this context can address both climate change and biodiversity concerns. However, there are only very few locations where post-industrial recovery can be studied, where the effect of industrialisation has already retreated, and ecosystems are rewilding. As a result, rewilding of post-industrial sites is understudied. This presentation introduces environmental monitoring in the Tees estuary, UK, a site of early, heavy industrialisation where habitats were transformed, and biota extirpated from the 1840s. From the 1980s, this estuary saw key indicators of ecosystems health such as seals and migratory fish returning. While high resolution census data is being collected for charismatic organisms (seal, salmon), lesser-known biota, including primary producers are not monitored, leading to a poor understanding of the existing food chain. Similarly, water quality is thoroughly monitored but for emerging pollution such as plastics and plastic additives. In the Tees estuary, a major factor for ecological recovery was the collaboration of stakeholders from industry, governmental agencies, and NGOs. Unfortunately, there is no rigorous and detailed account of how this dialogue mediated ecological recovery. In short, we introduce the monitoring of an internationally-significant case study, providing knowledge of best practice when rewilding coastal ecosystem in post-industrial conditions.”
The link between Wildlife Biology and the Monitoring Rewilding IntEcol2022 session creates an opportunity to draw synergies when promoting the work presented, and initiates collaborative work between Wildlife Biology, the session organisers, and the speakers.