One of the most debated issues concerning wilderness, in Italy, is the reintroduction (or bizarrely large increase in the population) of animals almost extinguished till recently.

While in most cases the artificial reintroduction of wild animals seems to be a metropolitan legend that finds easy spread because of ancestral fears, as it is the case of wolves and bears (the first ones reappeared because of the protection enjoyed by central authorities, while the latter ones reappeared because of both migration from alpines countries and protection as well), there are a few real and well-documented cases, such as the strong increase in the population of boars, that is apparently caused by the hunters' national agency that yearly releases boars that should then be hunted down for sports.

I would like to have a sense from you people of how frequently wild animals' populations increase artificially, and what the usual causes are (I expect that often the cause is the species protection, but--as in the case of Italian boars--this is not always the case).

  • We're currently doing it in the UK with the Eurasian Beaver and it's going really well :)
    – Aravona
    Jul 25, 2018 at 7:50

1 Answer 1


It happens fairly often, and usually the purpose is to reintroduce the animals to places where they used to be but were wiped out. This is know as species reintroduction/restablishment.

Species reintroduction is the deliberate release of a species into the wild, from captivity or other areas where the organism is capable of survival. The goal of species reintroduction is to establish a healthy, genetically diverse, self-sustaining population to an area where it has been extirpated, or to augment an existing population. Species that may be eligible for reintroduction are typically threatened or endangered in the wild. However, reintroduction of a species can also be for pest control. For example, wolves being reintroduced to a wild area to curb an overpopulation of elk or deer. Because reintroduction may involve returning native species to localities where they had been extirpated, some prefer the term "reestablishment".

Species reintroduction

Wikipedia has a long list of the animals that have had this done, and there are organizations like Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation or government agencies that have initiatives set up to do this.

  • the part of pest control is really interesting; in fact, it makes me think that in some cities they have brought small eagles (don't know the name) to catch pigeons.
    – Fuca26
    Jul 24, 2018 at 20:55
  • Also, I gather from this definition that the reintroduction of animals into the wild for sport hunting reasons is not common in the US
    – Fuca26
    Jul 24, 2018 at 20:56
  • 1
    @Fuca26 It depends on the organization, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is very much made up of hunters Jul 24, 2018 at 21:58

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