More than hundred thoroughbred bison are in the Caucasus
The snow track census, which are carried out in the winter of 2015/2016 by Teberdinsky and North Osetnsky reserves staff with assistance of WWF-Russia showed a livestock gain of a bison in the Caucasus. The number of groups starts increasing actively than the young animals, delivered from semi-wildlife reserves of Russia, became sexually mature. According to snow track census conducted on February 3–4, 2016 in North Ossetia, results the minimum number of Europen bison is determined to be 103. The Tseysky group consist of 75 bisons, including 8 calfs of 2015 year of birth, and Arkhyzsky group – 28 individuals, including 5 calfs.
«Bison’s census of the last years visually confirm timeliness of actions taken by WWF for preservation of bisons in the Caucasus — Roman Mnatsekanov, the senior coordinator of regional office «Russian Caucasus» notes. – The total number of bisons at the moment is not less than 103 individuals. Work on preservation of a bison in the region will be continued. Creation of new group of these animals in the Turmonsky wildlife area will become the following stage”.
In 2009–2013, under the coordination of WWF, in natural groups of bisons in the Caucasus 36 bisons was released. Now in the region there are two groups of thoroughbred bisons: one lives in the territory of the Tseysky wildlife area and the North Ossetian reserve, another in the Arkhyz (Teberdinsky State Nature Biosphere Reserve, Karachay-Cherkessia). The Caucasian bison is a flagship specie of ecosystems of the deciduous woods of the Caucasus. It forms a landscape inherent in the region, that is why restoration of natural populations of a bison is one of necessary conditions of a restoration of natural forests. By the initiative of WWF-Russia at the end of 1990’s «Strategy of preservation of a bison in Russia» was developed, and since 2009 the fund started practical actions for restoration of natural populations of a bison in the North Caucasus.