Video Recordings of Monitoring Change During Rewilding at INTECOL 2022

The first part of the session was captured  with this video. It includes the talks by: Colin Guilfoyle, Paul Nevill, Ambroise Baker and Alan Law


The talks that followed the morning break are captured below. They include the talks by Sara King (Rewilding Britain), Christopher Sandom and our keynote Jens Svenning.


The talks were sponsored by the journal Wildlife Biology published by the Nordic Society Oikos.

Monitoring Rewilding INTECOL session 3.2 buddies up with the journal Wildlife Biology

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.

The journal Wildlife Biology is a high-quality scientific forum directing concise and up-to-date information to scientists, administrators, wildlife managers and conservationists. Wildlife Biology is published by the Nordic Society Oikos (NSO).

Download the promotional flyer!

Monitoring abiotic, biotic and socio-ecological change during rewilding: opportunities and barriers

Session 3.2 about monitoring change during rewilding was accepted at INTECOL2022 in Geneva, Switzerland, August 28 – September 2 2022, on the basis of this abstract:

“One defining characteristic of rewilding is the establishment of natural processes to create self-sustaining ecosystems where conservation management is minimised. Some critical natural processes only occur when driven by ecosystem engineers, such as beavers creating wetlands, tapir dispersing tree seeds or giant tortoise grazing vegetation. Because many landscapes have experienced widespread ecosystem-engineer extinction, rewilding is typically accelerated when re-introducing large herbivores and carnivores. Monitoring change during rewilding is an opportunity to quantify societal benefits such as fighting climate change and biodiversity loss, but also requires overcoming barriers. For example, rewilding can occur in a variety of situations, at a range of temporal and spatial scales, and sometimes without a specific target. As a result, a wide range of benefits to society can be considered and many will not be relevant in all situations. Therefore, we pose the question: what and how to monitor during rewilding?

Rewilding progress can be measured within a given area using quantified proxies for decreasing human inputs and for increasing environmental integrity. A standardised and detailed framework will empower practitioners and build the evidence-base for future initiatives. A key abiotic change attracting focus is carbon sequestration along with the wider contribution to climate change mitigation. However, there remain knowledge gaps about the magnitude and directionality of change during rewilding. Promisingly, when accounting for the complex interaction between megafauna and permafrost, there may be a financial case via carbon markets to rewild vast areas of the arctic. Moreover, the need to assess the benefits following re-introduction of beavers as ecosystem engineers in Britain has led to the collection of abundant evidence based on multiple abiotic parameters such as hydrology, and aquatic biodiversity. Biodiversity and food web changes controlling top-down and bottom-up ecosystem processes can be difficult to document without resource-intensive biological surveys covering a wide range of organisms. eDNA and metabarcoding of megafaunal faecal samples are examples of existing tools useful in this context to synthesise biotic changes in time. In addition to abiotic and biotic aspects, practitioner’s perspectives can provide important insights and assess the human dimensions beyond ecological metrics.

A challenging undertaking such as monitoring change during rewilding ultimately also forces the ecological community to break new ground and push our field’s frontiers. This will be illustrated with a model of social-ecological monitoring designed for the diverse world of rewilding.”

Monitoring Rewilding INTECOL session: Speakers line-up

The speaker’s line up is as follows:

Jens-Christian Svenning (keynote). Aarhus University. Monitoring ecological dynamics under trophic rewilding – A conceptual perspective

Sara King. Rewilding Britain. Rewilding Britain’s network and framework for monitoring rewilding: an update

Alan Puttock and Richard  Brazier. University of Exeter. Undertaking research to inform the re-introduction of Eurasian beaver to Great Britain

Alan Law and Nigel Willby. University of Stirling. Aquatic biodiversity response in beaver-created ponds and wetlands

Colin Guilfoyle, Heather Lally, Elvira de Eyto, Conor Graham. Setting a baseline for ecological restoration in Wild Nephin National Park

Laura Waistell and Ambroise Baker. Teesside University. Monitoring animal welfare during rewilding: a case study of beaver introduction in Britain

Josiane Segar, Henrique Pereira, Nestor  Fernandez. German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research. Assessing rewilding progress: bridging the gap between science and practice

Christopher Sandom. University of Sussex. Socio-ecological monitoring in the diverse world of rewilding.

“Monitoring Change during Rewilding” at the INTECOL 2022 conference

I’m delight to announced that Dr Ed Rollason (VC Fellow at Northumbria University) and I are organising the talk session:

“Monitoring abiotic, biotic and socio-ecological change during rewilding: opportunities and barriers”

part of INTECOL2022 in Geneva, Switzerland, August 28 – September 2 2022.

The International Association for Ecology (INTECOL) supports collaboration amongst ecologists and ecological societies across the world. The INTECOL congresses are organised every four year and are some of the most important international ecology conferences.

The proposal now accepted justified the session of talks as follows:

“Rewilding, as a conservation practice, is increasingly put forward as a nature-based solution providing multiple benefits contributing to tackling the current climate and biodiversity crises. Yet, the full scale of these benefits remains to be quantified over time and in a variety of situations.

“In this session, we present a series of talks that provides the audience with an overview of relevant monitoring practices and aims, as well as selected case studies. Speakers will demonstrate how the field of ecology, multidisciplinary by nature, can facilitate data collection, evidence gathering and decision-making during rewilding.

“Effective monitoring during rewilding can collect critical evidence for multiple purposes. Firstly, it enables the measurement of progress and success for specific time frames and situations such as abandoned agricultural landscapes. Secondly, it can facilitate adaptative management when specific benefits such as carbon sequestration are targeted. Thirdly, it provides guidance for planning, undertaking or initiating new rewilding initiatives.

“This session will not only disseminate important knowledge about one key conservation practice lined up to fight climate change and biodiversity loss, but also, it will bring together a collective of ecologists with unique expertise and a shared interest for monitoring change during rewilding.

“In addition to expertise, diversity was an important consideration when bringing together this collective of speakers: from within and outside academia; and straddling all career stages (from PhD student to full Professor).”