Drs. Fred Baerselman

Fred Baarselman


Retired Executive Director LHF

Field of expertise

Large mammals in Eurasia



Co-initiator, Founder, Coordinator, Executive Director

Fred Baerselman (1948) is the co-initiator, founder and was the coordinator of the WWF International ‘Large Herbivore Initiative'; 1997- 2003, and was the Executive Director of the ‘Large Herbivore Foundation in the period 2003-2009.

He had a training in general ecology, marine biology and environmental sciences at ‘Free University', Amsterdam; ‘University of Amsterdam ‘; NIOZ (Netherlands Institute for Sea Research) Texel and ‘Institute for Environmental Sciences' Amsterdam.

In his working career Fred has explored many fields of biology/ecology, nature conservation and environmental sciences; mostly in advice, policy work and management; a.o. Netherlands Health and Environmental Council, several Dutch Ministries, such as Nature policy, Nature development, Spatial Planning and Ecological networks, Water management, Agriculture (Crop protection, Pesticides), Strategic Planning (Nature, Agriculture).

In his work in Nature Policy, working close together with Frans Vera, he developed concepts like Nature Development, Ecological Reference and base line approach and Ecological Networks. Important and included in these concepts, was a redefinition and refocusing of ecological processes, including the dynamics of large herbivores in biotope and landscape development and biodiversity.

During his work in international crop protection and pesticide control, he got deeply involved in European Agricultural, Environmental and Spatial policy.

In 1997 he was seconded to WWF International to set up the new WWF program of the ‘Large Herbivore Initiative' (LHI). Under this program he has developed an Eurasian Network of experts in large herbivores and their ecosystems. Together with the people and friends of the LHI Network a successful conservation and restoration strategy was developed, with a philosophy of seed money for projects and cooperation on the ground with many people and organizations. With a growing network, increasing conservation results and international recognition, the LHI evolved into an independent foundation in 2003; ‘the Large Herbivore Foundation'(LHF).

Fred was appointed as the first Director of LHF. Together with Joep van de Vlasakker and Caroline Stravers, he formed the team to lead the LHF, until his retirement for medical reasons in 2009. He will continue as Advisor and Ambassador for LHF.