In the following months, you’ll get the chance to find out more about each member of the diverse team that set out to explore the Bison Hillock and know it inside and out. We guarantee you’ll find each of their roles challenging and rewarding.
Tristian has an interest in science, a passion for wildlife photography, and a calculated personality.
I graduated with a BA in Biological Sciences in July 2017. Since completing it, I volunteered in conservation in South Africa for 4 weeks and in Madagascar for 6 weeks. Through these experiences, I have glimpsed how conservation works ‘on the ground’ and for this reason, and my interest in rewilding, I am here.
I have a good understanding of rewilding and conservation issues on a coarse-scale and some experience in conservation fieldwork volunteering. Perhaps most importantly, I really strive to be open-minded and logical and I am therefore keen to learn more.
Taskforce II experience
I am enjoying my time here so far. Oana, our project coordinator, is driven and ambitious and our team is adopting a similar mindset. Likewise, the rangers are really helpful in showing us around the bison enclosure and the ‘wild’ area. Highlights so far include seeing the bison calves, visiting the bison reintroduction project at Vanatori-Neamt and developing my camera trapping study to investigate the bison’s behaviour.
Don’t be afraid to think critically and put forward your own ideas but do so with an open-mind and in a nuanced way.
This is my first time in Romania and I enjoy the bizarre mix of old and new that this country offers. For example, seeing haystacks and horse and carts one minute and then modern towns and cars the next, is refreshing and new. And then of course this culture is set against the backdrop of a vast and wild forested mountain chain- the southwestern Carpathians- where I am emboldened with hope by the enduring presence of large carnivores long since eradicated from Western Europe.
After a long hike, meals become a centre-point of the day and the food here is very tasty with a vegetarian option too.
I have followed the work of Rewilding Europe for a long time and really wanted to work in this field and also gain experience with a recognized organisation like WWF. I was fortunate that I saw this come up and felt that it is an interesting mix of fieldwork and new technologies. I am sure that this will help me develop personally and in conservation also.
What is happening here for the bison can also happen for the wildlife on your doorstep. Engage with the wildlife around you, even if you live in an apartment block, because this way your world will become richer.
I intend to take up an MSc in Conservation Science and Biodiversity at the University of Exeter in 2019. For that, this internship will provide me with ideas for a potential project and more long-term it will give me valuable experience for possible future work in rewilding and conservation more generally.
Keep up with Tristian also on his blog: https://ourwildhope.wordpress.com/.
And with the entire team on their bison exploration and research in the Southern Carpathians by following the hashtag #BisonHillockLive on our social media channels
Text: Tristian Herbert and Bianca Ștefanuț
Photos: Bianca Ștefanuț and Daniel Mîrlea