We design our Earthwatch Teen Expeditions specifically and exclusively for 15- to 18-year-olds. They’re unlike any other experience a teenager can have.
Around 2,000 years ago, humans began deforesting, eliminating native fauna (such as wolves and brown bears), and also introduced non-native livestock to the area—creating broad-scale dewilding. At Alladale Wilderness Reserve, one of the largest conservation estates in Europe, The European Nature Trust (TENT) is actively rewilding this landscape—restoring this rugged terrain back to the habitat that was once there centuries ago.
Today, scientists have learned that it was a big mistake to remove wolves from this ecosystem. Without the presence of this ecological force, red deer have grown bold and damage their habitat. In addition to keeping deer in check, ecosystems that contain these keystone predators are more resilient to climate change and support greater biodiversity. In partnership with the University of St. Andrews, Earthwatch is examining how the system at Alladale functions without wolves, which were present in Scotland until humans eradicated them.
On this project, volunteers will have the opportunity to contribute to advancing conservation by collecting data to improve awareness of the importance of rewilding ecosystems to create a more sustainable world. You will help researchers document the effects of the ecological restoration occurring at Alladale Wilderness Reserve, informing future management and conservation plans. The findings of this research will also help determine whether to reintroduce wolves and brown bears back into this landscape.