These wild horses are native to the Algarve region and a critically endangered breed of horse (Photo credit: R Oelke)
The Algarve region was once home to wild horses, Algarvian goat and Miranda donkey and a myriad of other creatures. After intensive farming, we have lost these species, their habitats and the web of other species that depend on them.
Our work is focused on a stunning nucleus site in the Algarve which is 210 hectares, the size of Gibraltar’s Nature Reserve. The land has been left to regenerate by the landowner for the past 25-30 years, with the only intervention being to create ponds and enhance the vegetation.
Stunning biodiversity on the Algarve (Photo credit: C. Issler)
However, more needs to be done to further restore missing keystone species. These include reintroducing lost species of herbivores, including:
- Large herbivores like Sorraia horses to graze and spread seeds
- Lost species Algarvian goats and deer are needed to clear vegetation and reduce the risk of seasonal fires
The Miranda donkey has been lost to the Algarve
The site is situated near to the release sites for the Iberian lynx and these rare cats are frequenting our site. We will be launching a European rabbit breeding and release program to replenish this key and endangered species, a critical food source for the Iberian lynx.
A European otter family is resident in the tributary of the Guadiana River running through the land, as well as at least two species of endangered fish.
We are creating Black Vulture breeding sites as well as vulture feeding sites to encourage visitation of Griffon and Egyptian vultures to the area.
Long term we will expand the project to other areas and further afield with potential for an international restoration and species conservation collaboration.
We are protecting and nurturing the land and waterways, actively conserving native Iberian species and working with local and International entities to achieve this. Our site has a traditional Algarve village and is a perfect venue for nature-based eco-tourism, where visitors can immerse themselves in nature. We are fully carbon neutral (or positive) site, using renewable energy solutions to serve the community and beyond.
We hope to expand the size of protected land to at least 680 hectares; the size of Gibraltar.
Please help us with funding for the initial set up and transportation of wild sorraia horses. These wild horses are native to the Algarve region and a critically endangered breed of horse, we are bringing them back into their homelands.
Visit our website for more information and follow the links to our first rewilding site.
Who are we?
We are a group of passionate professionals who have been working with the environment for many years, who want to make a difference. The way we see it, rewilding the world is the only way to get out of the predicament our planet is currently in.
We set up the Whole Wild World, to do just this; to make the world Whole and Wild again.
What will your money help us to do?
For our foundation site, our aims are:
- To Rewild 210+ hectares of land in the Algarve.
- Bringing the Sorraia horse back to the Algarve. This endangered breed of wild horse is nearing extinction. They have recently been released into the Rewilding Portugal reserve in the Coa Valley. They are native to the Sorraia Valley just north of the Algarve site but their range would have extended down to the south in the past.
- Perimeter fence completion and gates. For now, we need to protect the species within the non-hunting grounds area, for their own safety. We hope to encourage local land owners to follow suit and make their land non-hunting grounds too. We also hope to work with local landowners to extend the project as far as possible and to make nature-based tourism a source of income for the community as a whole.
- Miranda donkey and Algarvian goat breeding program. These are both endangered native breeds.
- European rabbits are a keystone species – providing a main food source for the Iberian lynx. They are endangered in their native habitats. A breed and release program will ensure a supply for lynx released nearby. We have already seen evidence of lynx on the land, this will ensure more frequent visitation of one of the most critically endangered cat species
- Monitoring – it is essential that we monitor this project closely, in order to produce clear data on the impact of rewilding. We will need to pay for some updated ecological surveys. We also intend the site to be a valuable research resource for local Universities and schools in the local area and Gibraltar. These funds will help us to set up these programs of research and facilities for them.
- Infrastructure for nature-based tourism and education; trails, signage and infographics, E-bike and mountain bike purchase, kayaks, enhancement of the facilities for guests.
- Vulture feeding sites, this is crucial for the area as many years of strict sanitary laws in Portugal have lead to the decline in visitation by vultures, notably the Griffon, Cinereous and Egyptian vulture. There is also a possibility of constructing nesting sites for Cinereous vulture in collaboration with the Vulture Conservation Foundation (VCF) to attract or to rehabilitate pairs of this species.
- There is already a rehabilitation centre on the site, this needs some renovations and will be an excellent resource for the site.
- Planting of holm and cork oak.
- Native wildflower seeds – these would be sown on some fields, to diversify the number of species and support the survival of bees and other invertebrates.
- Roe deer and other grazers such as Spanish wild goat – there are already wild boar frequenting the land, the addition of a small deer population will help to remove dry bracken responsible for wild fires.
- Other species reintroductions – we are keen to reintroduce or protect and enhance any species that are native to the area; reptiles, amphibians and fish.
- Construction of bee-eater nesting banks and beehives to encourage and protect these species.
- Monitoring Equipment camera lenses, trail cameras, a drone, binoculars, night vision equipment.