Start page arrow The legally-protected European bison
The legally-protected European bison Print

In Poland, the bison gained protection under the law from the 16th century onwards. The original instruments by which this was achieved were Royal Decrees, these being followed by edicts of the Tsars known as Ukazy during the period of the Partitions of Poland. In the newly-reconstituted Poland, the bison came under Strict Protection by virtue of the Special Regulation of the Minister of Religious Denominations and Public Education dated 12.10.1938. Today (as of 2009), the European bison enjoys species protection under the Regulation of the Minister of the Environment of September 28th 2004. The species is no. 125 on the list of species that are subject to such protection. It is also included on the list of endangered species, in the so-called Red Data Book first published in 1966 by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This list is updated regularly, with new species appearing on it altogether, and many others being assigned ever-higher degrees of endangerment. The European bison is one of the few species now categorised by a lower level of endangerment than before. For this reason, the European bison does not come under the provisions of the 1975 Washington Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). However, it is on the list of species requiring protection in accordance with the 1975 Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats. The European bison also features in Annex II to the EU’s Habitats Directive (Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora). In turn, more generally, at the ”Earth Summit” held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, countries put their signatures to the Convention on Biological Diversity requiring parties to preserve and protect the full diversity of all presently-existing life forms, and to engage in their wise use.

The European bison has enjoyed legal protection in Poland since the 16th century. Photo: Z. Krasiński
The European bison has enjoyed legal protection in Poland since the 16th century.
Photo: Z. Krasiński

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