It was my first visit to Romania’s Southern Carpathian Mountains in 2018, and I was standing beside a derelict sheepfold high above the Dambovita Valley. To the east, the imposing limestone cliffs of Piatra Craiului, or Kings’ Rock, towered overhead. All around me was a panorama of deep valleys, soaring mountains and the ever-present forest.
Beneath a canopy of old-growth trees, an array of animals — wolves, European brown bears, boar, eagles, lynx — were thriving.
Here among the Fagaras Mountains, the highest reaches of the Southern Carpathians, and tucked away in an unlikely corner of the European Union, an immense conservation project was underway. The ultimate aim: the creation of a “European Yellowstone.”
Piatra Craiului National Park, would create a chain of parks and a wide-reaching wildlife reserve.
rewilding initiatives began to gain global momentum, Romania stood out to me as a remarkable example.
While many countries were working to replace what they had once lost, Romania, in many ways, was battling to preserve what it still had.