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Breeding perspectives Print

One of the conditions for successful bison restitution was the increase in the number of specimens and its geographical distribution. The breeding grounds were located in Poland (Bia這wie瘸, Pszczyna, Niepo這mice) and Russia (Prioksko-Terrasny and Okski). Most of the bison living in captivity and in the free roaming herds around the world comes from these breeding centres. At the initial period of the restoration process, the number of places where bison were accommodated was growing rapidly. So did the number of specimens.  The maximum number of bison around the world was recoded in 1991 – 3407 specimens, from which 1512 bison were living in captivity and 1895 in a free roaming conditions. Since that time, there is a constant though minor decrease in the world population, especially visible in terms of the population living in captivity.   Creation of new free roaming bison populations is related with the presence of a sufficiently large forest complex for this purpose. This results from the fact that the free roaming herds have to have at least 100 specimens in order to maintain sufficient variability of the generic material. One of the few countries which has the potential for creation of such free roaming herds is Russia, even outside of the original allocated area e.g. in the area of Wo這gdy, north-east from Moscow or even in A速aj. More important regions with free roaming bison populations include Bia這wie瘸 Forest (Poland and Belarus), Caucasus (Russia) and Eastern Carpathians (Poland, Ukraine). Bia這wie瘸 Forest is inhabited by low-land (Bia這wie瘸) bison, while there are Caucasian – lowland bison populations in the area of Caucasus and in the Eastern Carpathians. Currently, both sections of the Forest are inhabited by more than 700 bison. Therefore it is and remains the mainstay for this emblematic animal.

The fate of a bison is a good example of how simple it is to drive a species of animals to extinction and how much effort needs to be put into its saving. Saving the bison is an unquestionable success though further activities towards the protection of this relict species are still necessary.


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