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Премия рунета 2017

WWF-Russia will release 10 bisons into the wild in North Оssetia

02 august 2018
Today, the first 6 bison have arrived to Caucasus from the Oksky nature reserve (Ryazan region), after almost 2000 km of travel. The animals were released into the quarantine enclosure in the "Turmonsky" nature sanctuary. In one week 4 more bison will join them. After 1 month of quarantine, the animals will be released into the wild. This event is a part of the Strategy of bison reintroduction in Russia.

Among the newcomers are two males and four females of purebred bison. Three of them were born and subsequently transported to Russia from Sweden, three more were born in the Ryazan region. The youngest male bison from Ryazan named Merom turns 2 years old today, on the day of release. The eldest of the group - the Swedish female bison named Energy which born in 2014, will celebrate the 4 years in the end of October. The delivery and release of another group of 3 more bison (1 male and 3 females) will take place a week later on August 9th. The restoration of bison’s population in North Ossetia is a part of WWF’s cooperation with the republic of North Ossetia-Alania on environmental protection of the region.

This will be the already the third release of bison in North Ossetia. Previously, 18 bison were released in the Republic in 2010 and 2012. The cooperation of the WWF-Russia and the Ministry of natural resources of North Ossetia-Alania allowed to create and preserve the Tseysky group of bisons. Now the main task is to create a new group in the Turmonsky reserve. According to a recent study by WWF-Russia, the largest intact forest area in the Republic is located here, where more than 300 bison can potentially live.

«Today’s bison release is an important and significant event for the animals and for the nature of the Caucasus region - says Roman Mnatsekanov, senior project coordinator of WWF-Russia’s Northern Caucasus Regional Office. - Two years of work and a long journey of the animals from Sweden to Russia are behind us. Now our bison have finally come to their new home, where they will become the founders of a new group of purebred bison, filling the missing piece of the ecosystem of the Caucasus region».

According to the monitoring data of bison carried out by the staff of the “North-Ossetian” nature reserve with the support of WWF-Russia, the number of bison in Ossetia exceeds 80 animals.

By the end of the 1990s, free populations of bison in the Caucasus were almost extinct, and there were less than 200 animals in whole Russia. Since 1996, WWF-Russia is implementing a program to create a free-living bison population in the forests of the European part of Russia. In the period from 1999 to 2002, 60 animals have been brought in, some of them remained in nurseries to increase genetic diversity, a significant part has been released in the Orel-Bryansk-Kaluga region and in the Vladimir region to create a free-living population of this species in the European part of Russia. As a result, 7 groups of bison were created in Orel, Bryansk, Kaluga and Vladimir regions. Today, more than 600 free-living bison inhabit wild nature of European Russia. In 2008, WWF began practical actions to conserve and restore bison in the Caucasus.

At the same time WWF-Russia organized seven deliveries of bison from Europe. Some of these animals were released into the wild, and the most genetically valuable were left in nurseries for blood renewal.

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