As a scientific component of the project, the effects of natural grazing with free-roaming horses on site fire resilience, invertebrates, plant community and soil quality will be tested. The main hypothesis is that landscapes with active grazing by large free-roaming herbivores are less vulnerable to fire due to a reduced amount of fuel and higher spatial heterogeneity.
Free-roaming horses will be introduced in the study area and it is expected that if present in appropriated numbers and distribution, these horses will kick-start the grazing function in the ecosystem. The objective is to make reintroduction sites more resilient to fire events while providing the time and space to break fires loop and allow the forest to develop. Ultimately, the purpose is to have more complex and diverse ecosystems in the region.