Rewilding Europe and WWF Romania are delighted to announce the successful reintroduction of 23 European bison at two sites in the Southern Carpathian mountains of Romania. The animals, which were sourced from nine European nature reserves and zoos, have been released over the course of several weeks. Ongoing rewilding efforts involving bison began in the Southern Carpathians in 2014. This reintroduction – the largest ever in the Carpathians – significantly advances the comeback of this magnificent species and takes the local population up to 53. Around 30 of these animals are now freely roaming in the wild, with the recently released bison kept in enclosures until their full release later this year.
LIFE Bison news archive:
Last week, two European bison were released in the newly established bison release site at the foothills of Poiana Ruscă Mountains, part of the Southern Carpathians rewilding area. The bison were relocated from the Romanian bison reserve in Brasov county.
The two-year programme will encourage more young Romanians to become involved in wild nature and forms part of a vision to use reintroduced bison as an engine for driving local development.
The exhibition, which will continue until 2021, depicts the ongoing bison reintroduction in the Southern Carpathians by Rewilding Europe and WWF Romania, with a special focus on reaching out to the younger generation.
Last Friday, the LIFE project “Urgent actions for the recovery of European Bison populations in Romania” (LIFE Bison) held its opening ceremony at the “Grigore Antipa” Natural History Museum in Bucharest, Romania. The project works to build a viable population of the European bison in the Tarçu Mountains Natura 2000 site in the Southern Carpathians. The event also marked the opening of the exhibition “The largest land mammal in Europe returns to the Southern Carpathian wilderness”, hosted by the Museum and open to public until end of November.
The Bison Visitor Centre in Armeniș, Țarcu Mountains, Romania, is now presenting scientific data about the bison in a playful and immersive way. It has the biggest holographic projection in Europe with two more installations that were built at the crossroads between art and technology. The data feed, animating the installations, is being continuously collected from the field by trainees from Romania and abroad who study different relevant subjects related to natural sciences. They live and work in the nearby village of Feneș, at the Research Station which was inaugurated this August.
This Saturday, after 3000 km of travelling, ten more European bison originating from Belgian and German zoos and wildlife centres arrived at the Țarcu Mountains in the southern part of Romania. This group joined the herds Rewilding Europe and WWF Romania released here in 2014 and 2015, making one more step towards creating a viable wild bison population to roam freely in this area after 200 years of absence.
This year a new project started in the Southern Carpathians called “Wilderness Innovation Lab”, co-financed by a grant from the Swiss Contribution to the enlarged EU. The aim of the project is to help tell the story of bison reintroductions in real time through multimedia installations in the Southern Carpathians Visitor Centre. The centre is located in Armeniş, Caras-Severin County in Romania where Rewilding Europe and WWF Romania are leading a bison reintroduction project, on a 59,000 hectare protected area.
A major gathering of nature conservation organisations took place this week in Haskovo, Bulgaria. Members from Rewilding Europe, Rewilding Rhodopes, Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds/Birdlife Bulgaria, WWF Romania, WWF Greece, Vulture Conservation Foundation and Hellenic Ornithological Society/BirdLife Greece gathered for the kick-off meetings and training sessions of two LIFE funded projects that officially started on 1 January 2016.