Camera: Fuji Finepix S8100
Location: Oostvaardesplassen, Lelystad. Netherlands, Europe
Date: October 8/2010
See You Deer
The Oostvaardersplassen is a nature reserve in the Netherlands. Despite its young age (it is in a polder which was only created in 1968) it already has international importance as a European wetland.
Before the establishment of the reserve, the dry area was a nursery for willow trees, and in the first year hundreds of seedlings could be found on each square metre. This led to concern that a dense woodland would develop, significantly reducing the value of the habitat for water birds. To avoid this, the park’s managers brought in a number of large herbivores to keep the area more open, including Konik horses, red deer and Heck cattle. These large grazing animals are kept out in the open all year round without supplemental feeding, and are allowed to behave as wild animals (without, for example, castrating males). The ecosystem developing under their influence is thought to resemble those that would have existed on European river banks and deltas before human disturbance.