Bison of the Bialowieza subspecies beyond the Urals

In August 2019, Irina Zemlyanko, deputy director of the reserve for bison breeding, and Zuzanna Novak, head of the Department of Genetics at the University of Warsaw, paid a working visit to the bison nursery in the village of Cherga in the Altai Republic.
The purpose of the visit was to analyze the prospects for the restoration of bison of the Bialowieza subspecies in the only place in Russia where he remained. A genetic survey of a group of bison that participated in reproduction was carried out, the data are processed at the All-Union Institute of Animal Husbandry and at the Department of Genetics of the University of Warsaw. Based on the results of these studies, new stages in the work will be continued.

Purebred Bialowieza bison (Bison bonasus L) (11 individuals — 3 males and 8 females) were brought into the Cherginsky nursery for acclimatization from the Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve from 1982 to 1984. This is the only bison nursery beyond the Urals, which contains purebred Bialowieza bison, a valuable insurance fund of ancient animals.

The bison acclimatization was very successful, the brought bison breed well — now there are 46 animals in the nursery, and this is the maximum number of individuals that can comfortably exist on 470 ha of Cherginsky nursery. Gorny Altai was not chosen by chance: it has a good forage base, 243 species of higher plants grow.