Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Bison reintroduction to Central Russia

17.05.2004


Russian scientists are investigating the opportunity to bring wisents (Bison bonasus) back to the forests of Central Russia. Their effort has been funded by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and the Federal Target Scientific and Technical Program called “Conservation of Rare Species”.



The story of rescuing wisents (Bison bonasus) which had been practically on the verge of extinction became classical and was included in schoolbooks. However, this does not mean that wisents are thriving. These animals’ position is still so unstable that they will perish without people’s constant care. In the meantime, the scientists are planning to bring wisents back to the forests of Central Russia. The specialists from the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution Problems (Russian Academy of Sciences) believe that this is feasible, but requires a competent wisent reproduction policy.

An all-sufficient stable wisent population should have the quantity of at least 500 head. Specialists of the International wisent group recommend a larger population of at least 1,000 animals. In Russia, it is possible to create such a totality of herds living at large in the territory of the Kaluga and the Briansk Regions and in the North-West of the Orel Region. It is there, in the National Park called “Orel Marshy Woodlands” and in adjacent territories, the first phase of the project is implemented to establish a large stable wisent population in the central part of Russia. This program has been supported by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Global Ecological Fund, it is also sponsored by E.S. Stroyev, governor of the Orel Region.


So far, the park territory of 36 thousand hectares is inhabited by only 68 wisents, out of which only 26 animals breed actively. The wisents are divided into 4 isolated groups, containing from three to twenty head. Forecasting the fate of the future population, the specialists carried out field observations in the park, studied archival materials, and even applied computer simulation of demographic and genetic processes.

Wisents are polygamic animals. Females start to reproduce at the age of 4 and bring posterity within 12 to 14 years. Childbearing age of male is even less – from 5 through 12 years, although some males may become fathers at the age of 15. Researchers’ estimations have proved that the largest group of the Orel Region wisents has good chances to reproduce themselves up to 100 head in 12 to 15 years given the lack of natural calamities, general epidemics and poaching: should the 100 head quantity is reached, the wisents will not be threatened by extinction from casual fertility fluctuations. Along with that, the group will preserve initial genetic diversity and will be able to avoid degeneration. The rest of the groups will remain in the demographic and genetic instability zone for the next 20 years, unless urgent measures are undertaken. The scientists suggest that the quantity of each of these groups should be increased up to 20 to 25 animals at the expense of bringing in new wisents. The Orel Region population possesses a sufficient level of genetic diversity for further stable development. For successful inhabiting of the National Park, it is very important to preserve each group of the Orel population, to promote stable and quick reproduction of the animals and continuous exchange of animals between the groups. For the time being, such a small herd lives in isolation, but the researchers hope that when the animals get more numerous, the groups will start contacting. That is quite possible as there are no hindrances in the territories inhabited by the wisents. Along with that, keeping in mind the previous experience in establishing wisent populations at large and the territory conservatism inherent in the species, the researchers should not expect these animals to disperse by themselves in the forests of the Kaluga and Briansk Regions. Six to eight similar populations are to be established to ensure bringing wisents back to the forests of Central Russia.

Sergey Komarov | Informnauka
Further information:
http://www.informnauka.ru/eng/2004/2004-05-17-041_24_e.htm

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Upcycling 'fast fashion' to reduce waste and pollution
03.04.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

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: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

Im Focus: Quantum-physical Model System

Computer-assisted methods aid Heidelberg physicists in reproducing experiment with ultracold atoms

Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...

Im Focus: Glacier bacteria’s contribution to carbon cycling

Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.

A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A promising target for kidney fibrosis

21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>