Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


From The Breeding Nursery To The Forests


Russian scientists’ efforts targeted to recover European bison (Bison bonasus) which are exterminated everywhere have succeeded. According to the results of the all-Russian accounting of the bison quantity, their population has grown by 20% within the last five years. Herds of these relic ungulates living at large is a dream that has good chances to come true.

The last wild bison were exterminated by 1927, only 48 animals remained scattered all over the Zoos of different countries, although in former times they used to reign in the forest expanses of Europe. It took about seventy years of rearing – first in the zoological gardens, then in the breeding nurseries in the natural environment to recover the species. Thanks to the scientists’ effort, by the end of the 20th century bison all over the world numbered almost three thousand, out of which 1,738 bison lived in free populations in Poland and the former USSR. The international community of researchers involved in the species recovery has won the victory: no longer is there a threat of extinction to the bison.

Nevertheless, it is premature to rest on our laurels as the species can not exist without assistance from people. The major problem the species faces is the deficiency of genetic diversity. All contemporary bison originate from only twelve bulls, this number being too small. Forced to interbreed with near relations, bison produce weakened posterity. Thoroughbred bison in Russia are now 350 in number– these are the counting results published at the research-and-practical conference in the Prioksko- terraced preserve. However, the rescue of bison can be ensured only by establishment of large free populations containing a thousand of animals or even more.

After the Soviet Union disintegrated, Russia was left without bison. All the results of Soviet zoologists’ laborious efforts remained in other countries – in the Ukraine and Byelorussia, and only a few small groups - in the Caucasus. Fighting against poaching particularly when social conflicts and real wars take place is a hard job!

Therefore, Russia has to start from scratch, since appropriate territories remained intact. Zoologists focused on the Central regions of Russia. Researchers from the Russian Academy of Sciences together with the specialists from WWF Russia and federal task group for bison developed the Bison conservation strategy in Russia approved by the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation. The aim of the strategy is to create at least two large bison populations, their quantity making a thousand of animals each.

One of such populations is supposed to be distributed in the forests of the Orel, Bryansk and Kaluga Regions. The first reintroduction center has become the national park “Orlovskoye Polesie (marshy woodlands)”. In 1996, zoologists started to bring bison there from the breeding grounds, in 1998 the first bison baby appeared, and now they are born every year. The zoos of other countries - the Netherlands, Germany, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland and Belgium – have presented Russia with 61 bison to enrich the gene pool.

The “Orlovskoye Polesie (marshy woodlands)” has now more than 70 bison living at large, and the “Kaluzhskie Zaseki (abatis)” preserve is populated by 20 bison. Eight bison live in the Murom game reserve (Vladimir Region). The researchers assume that the above bison groups will settle in a new place, contact each other, make mixed marriages, thus forming the first large stable Russian population.

The specialists have not determined yet the location for the second large population. Many years ago, several bison were released in the Vologda Region, and so far they have lived there at large. However, doubts exist whether it is worth creating a large herd in that region, as the winters are too snowy there - efforts for getting forage would not be compensated by the calories contained in it.

“The most trouble is given by the bison that arrived from abroad, says Olga Pereladova, manager of the WWF of Russia. They are absolutely not afraid of people and are extremely fond of comfort. One of such herds released in the Bryansk Region was tempted by free forage and cosy cow-sheds of the neighboring Ukraine and flatly refused to leave for the forests. The bison that had not perished from Ukrainian poachers and returned to the farm in the Bryansk Region had to be taken back to the breeding ground. There is one remedy for such situations: to release not only young bison, but also old females accustomed to semi-free life in the forest. Bison stick to matriarchy, and a wise female leader will certainly walk off the entire herd farther on from people.”

According to the WWF estimates, within the next 15-20 years, implementation of the bison preservation strategy in Russia will require at least $50 to $60 thousand annually. Where can this money be taken from? Till recently, the majority of actions has been paid for via foreign fund, but now the situation is different. Local regional authorities allocate money for bison transportation and forage. Russian sponsors provide a lot of assistance: in 2003-2004 $19,000 was funded by the Russian company “Multon” which is famous for its juices branded “Rich”. In addition, individual WWF advocates in Russia invest their money in the bison recovery program.

Bison is a native Russian animal, recovery of its population in Russia is not only a complicated task but also a prestigious and prospectively profitable business as it will attract to Russia tourists and hunters from all over the world. “If acclimatization of bison is successful, believes Olga Pereladova, then it will be possible and necessary in some areas to shoot off the bison population redundancy within 5 to 7 years.”

Sergey Komarov | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Space observation with radar to secure Germany's space infrastructure

Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.

The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

New solar solutions for sustainable buildings and cities

23.03.2018 | Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

For graphite pellets, just add elbow grease

23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Unique communication strategy discovered in stem cell pathway controlling plant growth

23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Sharpening the X-ray view of the nanocosm

23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>