Calpe 2017 Conference: The Rewilding Conference

This year’s Calpe Conference promises to be of great interest to a wide public, especially those with an interest in Natural History and Nature Conservation. Leading specialists from around the world will gather in Gibraltar from the 20th to the 24th September to discuss the subject of Rewilding. The Rewilding concept is gathering momentum across the world. It aims at restoring wild places and their constituent species in places where they became extinct as a result of human intervention. Rewilding is an ecological restoration strategy and has focused on restoring megafaunas, the large emblematic animals whose presence can influence the structure and function of ecosystems. This conference will aim at discussing the scientific basis of the method and aims to evaluate Rewilding’s current scientific basis, discuss the main lessons learned from ongoing Rewilding projects and consider the way ahead. The Conference starts on Thursday 21st September at the University of Gibraltar. As in previous years registration if free for residents of Gibraltar.

In addition, a pre-conference symposium will be held at the same venue on Wednesday 20th September. This event is also open to the general public and the subject that will be discussed is “Reintroductions and Tracking of animals with special reference to Gibraltar”. The speakers at this symposium will be a mix of local biologists and invited speakers from abroad. They will provide an exciting complement and prelude to the Calpe Conference itself.

The programmes are included below and further information and registration forms may be obtained from the Gibraltar Museum or its website.


View official Press Release




Reintroductions and Tracking of animals with special reference to Gibraltar

Wednesday 20th September, 2017 at the University of Gibraltar



09:30     Benigno Varillas, Journalist, Revista el Carabo, Spain
              La vida salvaje, pieza clave de la sociedad digital

10:30     Clive Finlayson and Geraldine Finlayson, The Gibraltar Museum, Gibraltar
              The Pleistocene world as a baseline for species reintroductions?

11:30     Emanuele Coppola, Gruppo Foca Monaca Onlus, Italy
              Monk Seal. The Mystery of the Mediterranean

14:30     Ugo Mellone, Grupo de Zoología de Vertebrados, Universidad de Alicante, Spain
              Migration strategies of Eleonora’s Falcons and Short-toed Eagles as revealed by satellite telemetry

15:30     Keith Bensusan, Gibraltar Botanic Gardens, Gibraltar and Stewart Finlayson, The Gibraltar Museum, Gibraltar
              Tracking and reintroduction of cave and cliff-dwelling vertebrates in Gibraltar - prospects

16:30     John Cortes, Ministry for the Environment, Gibraltar
              The case for species reintroductions with specific reference to Gibraltar and formulating Government policy

17:30     Discussion




The Rewilding Conference

University of Gibraltar

Conference Programme


Thursday 21st September 2017

09:30     Official Opening by the Hon Prof. John E. Cortes, Minister with responsibility for Heritage and the Environment

10:00     Opening Lecture: Professor Jacques Blondel, CNRS, Montpellier, France
              Rewilding in the Anthropocene: taking up scientific, technical and ethical challenges

11:00     Coffee Break

11:30     Professor Lars Werdelin, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm, Sweden
              How ‘wild’ is the wild in rewilding? Lessons from the African fossil record

12:30     Dr Carlo Meloro, John Moores University, Liverpool, United Kingdom
              Predators from the past, still hiding in the present

13:30     Lunch Break

15:00     Professor Jens-Christian Svenning, Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Denmark
              Broad-scale, long-term perspectives on megafauna ecology and trophic rewilding in a changing world

16:00     Tea Break

16:30     Dr Juan Jose Negro, Estación Biológica Doñana, CSIC, Sevilla, Spain
              Rewilding before the era of Biodiversity Conservation: the case of Doñana National Park

17:30     Professor John Cortes, Ministry of the Environment, Gibraltar and Professor Clive Finlayson, Gibraltar Museum, Gibraltar
              Raptors and their satellites: Can meso-predators have an effect on the rewilding of megapredators?


Friday 22nd September 2017

14:00     Dr Paul Jepson, Smith School of Enterprise and Environment, University of Oxford, UK
              Investable Earth: rewilding and the rise of a 21st century environmental narrative

15:00     Professor Joris Cromsigt, Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Environmental Studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå, Sweden
              Rewilding Europe with large herbivores: insights from African savanna ecology

16:00     Tea Break

16:30     Dr Dennis Hansen, Department of Evolutionary Biology & Environmental Studies, University of Zurich, Switzerland
              Islands reborn: The lesson of the giant tortoise

17:30     Professor Felisa Smith, Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, USA
              Megafauna in the Earth System


Saturday 23rd September 2017

09:30     Dr Liesbeth Bakker, Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), Netherlands
              Ecosystem impacts of rewilding with large herbivores in temperate grasslands and wetlands

10:30     Coffee Break

11:00     Professor Chris Johnson, University of Tasmania, Australia
              Rewilding for management of threatened and invasive species in novel ecosystems

12:00     Professor Miguel Araujo, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, CSIC, Madrid, Spain and Dr Diogo Alagador, Universidade de Evora, Portugal
              Optimal spatial conservation strategies for rewilding

13:00     Lunch Break

14:30     Professor Pedro Jordano, Estación Biológica Doñana, CSIC, Sevilla, Spain
              Megafauna in the entangled web: the ghost of extinct ecological interactions

15:30     Tea Break

16:00     Discussion

17:30     Closing Lecture: Professor Valerius Geist, Faculty of Environmental Design, University of Calgary, Canada
              Rewilding with a view to history, promising current practices and the future