Premiere: We launch ‘Nature’s Architects’, a documentary film about the return of beavers and bison

By 3 June 2024 No Comments

`Nature’s Architects’ captures the story of the reintroduction of beavers and bison to the Făgăraș Mountains, through the efforts of Foundation Conservation Carpathia, and offers a closer look at the two species and their role. The documentary premieres on Sunday 9th June at 17:30 pm at the Astra cinema in Brașov, as part of the Lynx Festival.

`Nature’s Architects’ is a documentary comprising four episodes that bring for the first time the image of the return of the bison and beavers in the southern Făgăraș Mountains, in an area from which they disappeared two hundred years ago. The documentary is made by Dan Dinu, a director known for the project `România Sălbatică’, and the Nature and Travel Documentary Film team, together with the Foundation Conservation Carpathia team, within the framework of the project ‘Creation of a wilderness area in the Southern Carpathian Mountains, Romania’, LIFE18 NAT/RO/00108, funded by the European Commission through the LIFE programme.

The production team presents the journey of the return of the bison and beavers to the Făgăraș Mountains, the borderline situations, the moments of joy, but also the emotions of the team involved in the whole process. At the same time, the documentary succeeds in capturing the life of these fascinating animals in their natural environment, how they evolve, and how the landscape and nature begin to be shaped by their return.

Rarely have I had the opportunity to work closely with two more interesting species. The bison is an animal that you seem to relax around. I have spent many moments with them as they eat or ruminate, and each time I have felt the power of these animals and their importance to nature,” says Dan Dinu, director of the series. “The best was when I was able to capture them in heavy snowfall while crossing a river. Those frames have a primal power, and I felt honoured to be able to witness such a moment. The beaver is absolutely amazing in its engineering abilities. I could sit for hours watching this animal building things with extraordinary ingenuity. Although it’s not easy to follow its activity, as it is mostly nocturnal, I enjoyed every time I caught a new behaviour on the motion cameras. It was always a treat when I went to check them out. It’s not always that you get the opportunity to work with animals that so readily accept you into their lives, but these two species really let us in on some of their secrets and made our job pretty easy. It’s been a pleasure to shoot and edit these films, and I’m sure it will be a pleasure for those who see them and hopefully gain a better understanding of their vital importance to the ecosystem.

When we talk about the reintroduction of bison and beavers, we are not just talking about the direct benefits to these species, which have had the chance to be saved from extinction perhaps at the last moment, but about restoring and maintaining a fragile balance in the ecosystems they are part of,” as Adrian Aldea, biologist and species reintroduction manager, explains. “In a world where more and more habitats are being degraded and various species are threatened with extinction, the return of beavers and bison is perhaps the greatest gift for future generations.

`Nature’s Architects’ premieres on Sunday 9th June, starting at 17:30 pm, at Astra Cinema, Brașov. The screening of the film will be followed by a question-and-answer session with Liviu Ungureanu and Adrian Aldea, specialists from Foundation Conservation Carpathia, involved in the reintroduction of these species in the Făgăraș Mountains.

Făgăraș Mountains have become ‘home’ again for bison and beavers thanks to the efforts of Foundation Conservation Carpathia

Bison, the largest mammal in Europe, is now part of the fauna of the Făgăraș Mountains thanks to a species reintroduction project run by Foundation Conservation Carpathia. The first herd of bison was released in 2020, in the Bunea area, Rucăr commune, Argeș. Thanks to this project, more than 75 bison now roam freely in the forests of the Făgăraș Mountains. A year later, in 2021, through the same programme, Foundation Conservation Carpathia brought back the first beavers to the south of the Făgăraș Mountains. Beavers and bison play a crucial role in maintaining and restoring ecological balance, demonstrating that they are truly the architects of nature. Where they have been reintroduced, their ability to adapt is astonishing and their survival story is a great success.

About Foundation Conservation Carpathia

Foundation Conservation Carpathia is the largest nature conservation project in Europe, contributing to the restoration of natural ecosystems in the Carpathian Mountains for the benefit of biodiversity and local communities. Since 2009, the Romanian foundation has saved over 27,000 hectares of forests and alpine pastures in the southeastern Southern Carpathians from logging, acquired them for conservation purposes, planted over 4 million seedlings across 1,991 hectares affected by logging and created a 78,000 hectare no-take zone for sport and trophy hunting.

The Foundation contributes to the well-being of communities in the vicinity of protected forests through social, education and green business development projects, and its long-term vision is the creation of the Făgăraș Mountains National Park.

The work of Foundation Conservation Carpathia has been recognized nationally and internationally, for example, at the end of 2023 the organisation received the BAMBI trophy, the most important media award in Germany, for the category `Our Planet’. Since 1948, BAMBI has been awarding prizes to personalities and organisations that are outstanding in their work and have a special impact.