There are strong opposing views among conservationists about whether we have to intervene to safeguard our natural heritage or not. In the Western European tradition, human intervention has been dominating, whereas, elsewhere, rewilding aimed at restoring self-regulating ecosystems has often been preferred. However, cultural rather than ecological differences are at the root of these opposing paradigms, leading to management strategies that are not always optimal for biodiversity conservation. In the present article, we propose a framework based on the relationship between ecosystem dynamics and the human footprint, including land-use legacies, to guide the mixture of rewilding and intervention practices in order to ensure a biodiverse future. We argue that these paradigms are not conflicting but complementary and advocate for rewilding where possible, human intervention where needed.

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