LIFE “Diversification and development of the European bison population in north-western Poland”
Location:Area of West Pomeranian Voivodeship
The project addresses the problems of low genetic diversity and population growth of European bison in north-western Poland. The main objectives are to create a model for bison population management in an area of intensive human economic activity, increase the European bison population and the bison habitat area in north-western Poland.
- Habitat types: Coniferous and mixed forests, heathlands and meadows.
- Fauna (mega) species present: European bison, roe deer, red deer, European Mouflon, fallow deer, wild boar, wolf
- Fauna species reintroduced: European bison
- Description: The project was implemented for the protection of the wild bison population in north–western Poland . Main tasks carried out in the project are: seasonal winter wild bison feeding, building feeding racks for bison, setting GPS-GSM collars on bison females and implementation online notification system, the reclamation of grasslands and the establishment of food plots, the creation of new herd of bison as a "genetic corridor” and the provision of veterinary care for the bison population.
- Aim: Creation a model of an endangered species population management in the area of intensive economic use; growth of bison population and the acreage of bison habitat in northwestern Poland.
- Vision: Permanent and non-confrontational existence of wild bison population in the area of intensive economic use.
- Accomplished in 10 years from now: 1. The increase in the population by at least 80 individuals.<br /> 2. The increase of the area of the Western Pomerania bison by at least 30%.<br /> 3. The provision of 145,12 hectares of meadows, 48.49 hectares of food plots and 2 hectares of orchards for the European bison.<br /> 4. The creation of 22 new feeders for bison and the renovation of the 10 existing ones.<br /> 5. The creation of the Bison Support Unit – a unit provided with the staff and equipment necessary to handle the European bison population in Northwestern Poland during the project and after its completion.<br /> 6. The creation of two points storing food for bison, ensuring the storage of large amounts of food without loss and its efficient loading and distribution.
- Uniqueness: Great development of European bison population in north-western Poland proves that these big mammals can coexist with a human in lands of intensive exploitation. Big herd of bison existing in the Drawsko military training area shows that this place act as nature reserve for animals.
- Results so far: Growth of the European bison population in north-western Poland from 110 individuals at the beginning of the project, to 200 individuals at present. Creation of a new bison herd and initiate bison spreading to other areas. Building new 16 feeding racks for bison.<br />
- Flagship species: Bison
- Other characteristics: Education
- Inspirational value: Growth of the bison population while reducing the damage to agriculture thanks to actions connected with feeding the bison during winter season, removing the animals away from the valuable crops and reducing human wildlife conflicts.
- Experience you would like to share: Bison management in the area of intensive economic use, raising public awareness and providing social education about the European bison.
- Experience you would like to gain: Bison – human coexistence in the area of intensive economic use, bison dispersion and diversification