The spectacular sight of Europe’s largest land animal running wild is set to become more common in Romania’s Țarcu Mountains. After a long journey from the Avesta Reserve in Sweden, a group of nine European bison arrived at Rewilding Europe’s Southern Carpathians rewilding area on April 22 and 23. The group will eventually join free-roaming animals that have been released here over successive years since 2014.
Tag: bison release
I can easily say that for me September this year was the ‘bison month’. At the beginning of this month, I participated at the annual European bison conference in Poland where we discussed the status and progress on the return of Europe’s largest living land mammal. Then, I travelled all the way to Canada to show the North American bison conservationists what we are doing over here in Europe to support our own bison species, and learn from the work done on the American bison. It turns out that there are quite some similarities between our intercontinental stories about these iconic animals.
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.
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.
Last week, Rewilding Europe and WWF Romania took the first steps towards establishing a bison breeding centre in Romanian Hunedoara Zoo. In the framework of the LIFE Bison project, translocation of two bison marked the start of a new important stage in bringing back this iconic species. Newborn calves will be released from the breeding centre into the wild across the Carpathian Mountains.
This Monday, the Netherlands witnessed the start of a new bison grazing project. The first four animals were released in the Maashorst nature reserve in the south-eastern part of the country (Province of Noord-Brabant) where ultimately a starting herd of of 11 animals will roam a landscape of at least 1,500 hectares of forests, grasslands, shrubs and sand dunes. The animals are all part of the European Wildlife Bank.
The European Commission has approved the LIFE proposal “Urgent actions for the recovery of European Bison populations in Romania”, developed by Rewilding Europe and WWF Romania to support the reintroduction of the European bison into the Tarçu Mountains Natura 2000 site in the Southern Carpathians rewilding landscape. The funding will be used to build a viable population of European bison in this area, by releasing in total 100 animals in the coming five years.
Rewilding Europe and WWF Romania are thrilled to announce the second release of European bison to take place in the Southern Carpathians rewilding area on 12 and 13 June 2015. The herd brought into the acclimatisation area last year will be released into the wild, becoming the first bison to roam freely in the Southern Carpathians for over 200 years. In addition, a new herd of 18 European bison, originating from six different wildlife centres in Europe will arrive in Romania to be brought into the acclimatization area.
The bison that were released in June in the Cantabrian Mountains in Northern Spain are adapting very well to their new surroundings. They are gaining weight and building up fat reserves for the coming winter. They seem to browse a lot in their new surroundings and cope well with the warmer climate.