Growing the population

Sergio Pitamitz

Growing the population

Increasing genetic diversity of the European bison population in the Țarcu mountains to secure its long-term viability.

Task 3.1 Securing necessary permits and agreements from authorities for bison translocation and release in the Țarcu mountains

The aim of this task is to obtain all necessary permits for translocating bison and releasing them into the Țarcu mountains at the existing release site in Armenis.


  • TRACES documents

Task 3.2 Maintaining the existing pre-release infrastructure for bison acclimatisation and its access road before release into the wild

LIFE with Bison will continue the ‘soft-release’ method, established within the LIFE RE-Bison project, where pre-release infrastructure was used for releasing the bison
into the wild. The pre-release infrastructure includes nested zones with specific purposes and technical characteristics: handling, acclimatisation, and “rewilding” prior to release. The handling and acclimatisation zones will continue to be used for further releases.

This tasks foresees the maintenance of pre-release infrastructure and access zones to the area.

Task 3.3 Bison selection and preparation for reintroduction

The aim of this task is to select 40 to 60 bison and prepare socially pre-formed small herds which will then be translocated to be released into the Țarcu mountains. Careful genetic selection is a critical factor for success, considering today’s European bison originated from 12 founding animals which led to a high level of inbreeding. Building genetic integrity and maintaining genetic diversity within the bison population is important for resistance to diseases, maintenance of reproductive health,
long-term adaptability, and further biological traits. For the selection of bison, a set of criteria identified during the previous LIFE RE-Bison project will be used. These criteria are explicitly described in best practice guidelines. Further investigations will be made to improve existing criteria or to add more if necessary.


  • DNA report for the selected bison individuals

Task 3.4 Transportation, acclimatisation and release of selected bison

This task foresees the transportation of 40-60 bison from different breeding centers across Europe or from free /semi-free populations to the Southern Carpathians release site. The animals will be released from the truck into the pre-release pen, where they will be kept for acclimatisation to the area and then be released into the wild.

Translocations put a lot of stress on the animals because of capture, handling, transport, and holding. Lessons learned from previous releases will be applied to minimise the stress on the animals.

Task 3.5 Updating the monitoring framework of bison population from Țarcu Mountains

The aim of this task is to update and improve the monitoring framework for the local bison population, starting with the results and experienced gained in the previous LIFE RE-Bison project. Academic research departments will be involved in the process to identify management needs and setting up the new monitoring framework. The results obtained by implementing the monitoring framework will help further management and enable lessons to be learned to further raise the reintroduction success of European bison.

Task 3.6 Carrying capacity study (sociological and ecological) to provide a scientifically robust basis for future management

Examining the bison’s ecological and social carrying capacity in the Țarcu Mountains, is critical for protecting and managing the reintroduced species, the health of local ecosystems and its species, and ensure local people’s acceptance and capacity to live with the bison.


  • Ecological and social carrying capacity study
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.