Last month, we met with Professor Antonio Mira from the University of Evora. His is an expert in applied ecology, biodiversity recovery and habitat rehabilitation, and has led a number of projects in the Alentejo region, including working closely with our partner municipalities of Vila Viçosa and Alandroal.
We discussed our plans to restore site biodiversity and to monitor the impact of resident elephants on the ecology of the site. By following principles of rewilding, we aim to restore what is currently a degraded cattle farm and ex-eucalyptus plantation to create a healthy, balanced ecosystem. Low stocking densities and well-managed enclosures will help to increase biodiversity, improve soil quality, and reduce erosion and habitat degradation, benefiting native flora and fauna as well as elephants.
The impact of the megaherbivores on the ecology of the site will be closely monitored and we look forward to sharing the insights with partners and other interested parties.
Professor Mira has since accepted our invitation to join our advisory group and support both the development of the site habitat management plan as well as the design and implementation of the monitoring and evaluation study. We look forward to working with him and his team.