Rewilding Lake Pape - ongoing project In 1999, on the shores of Lake Pape in Latvia, a large-scale ecological experiment was undertaken. The goal was to return this unique ecosystem to its pre-agricultural state, to "re-wild" it. Centuries of human activity had exterminated a number of animals species from the area, exhausted the land through agriculture, diverted rivers, drained wetlands and let invasive plants run amok. By 1999 the area around Lake Pape was rapidly turning into a sterile wasteland overtaken by brush and reeds. With the help of the World Wildlife Fund, a group of Latvians decided to attempt to restore Lake Pape's ecosystem to its original state. The most important step in this process was returning the original large herbivores to the area. Until the Middle Ages, wild horses, oxen and bisons roamed these wetlands, but human activity eventually lead to their extinction. Since their return to the shores of Lake Pape, these grazers have been left to their own devices with little to no human intervention, and have completely reshaped the landscape. Many species of birds, by the tens of thousands, have returned and nest in the area, many plants and flowers once suffocated by brush and reed are now thriving, and the local economy has also profited through tourism. The rewilding experiment is still in progress, and that is what I am attempting to document... Click on the "caption" tab for more information on the photos.