Young bison from the Prioksko-Terrasny reserve move to the «Bryanskiy les» reserve

On December 5, 2017, 11 bison will find their new home. This group will complement the population of bison living in the territory of four reserves of Central Russia.

The work on the implementation of the strategy of bison conservation in Russia is continuing successfully. In the Central Breeding Cattery of the Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve, specialists are preparing to move to the State Natural Biosphere Reserve «Bryanskiy les»  a new group of bison. The move is scheduled for December 4, 2017.

Objectives of conservation of this rare species is achieved 5 national Reserves Central Russia «Smolenskoye Poozer’ye», «Orlovskoye Poles’ye», «Ugra», «Bryanskiy les» and «Kaluzhskiye Zaseki». All these reserves connect with the Prioksko-Terrasny reserve a reliable friendship and long work together. Central bison nursery PTZ plays a key role in restoring the bison population in the wild. Without bison breeding in captivity, without genetics and biology research of this kind of project reintroduction of bison in the wild would be impossible. Orlovsko-Kaluzhsko-Bryanskaya population of bison have more than 500 individuals and demonstrates a stable positive dynamics of.

The decision to relocate a new bison group to «Bryanskiy les» was taken in the summer of 2017. At present, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of Russia has given permission for transportation. In the group of bison, moving to a new place of residence – 11 animals: 3 males and 8 females. This is a young herd – the age of the animals is from 4 to 5 years. Our specialists carefully prepare their pets for a complex and exciting transportation procedure. The bisons had strict quarantine, they were made de-worming and anti-stress vitaminization in order to make them easier to carry the transportation. With the help of specialists from the Warsaw University of Natural Sciences in Poland, careful animal health studies and genetic typing have been done.

Irina Zemlyanko – deputy director of the Prioksko-Terrasny reserve, head of the Central Bison nursery, says: This group of bison became famous even before their resettlement to a new place of residence. It was these bison last summer that brought us a lot of trouble and excitement. After the hurricane, which took place in July, the fallen trees broke the hedge of their pen. The herd set off from the reserve. We spent a long time searching for these bison. The district administration, local residents, volunteers, and even journalists helped us to find bison. We found the fugitives and brought them back to the reserve. Now they are ready to move to the «Bryanskiy les». Now not all the bison will go there because the dominant female named Mutakha in the past months has become a happy mother. She remains with the baby in our nursery. And in the herd there was a dramatic history of the struggle of females for domination. These battles are very cruel: the female Mugera in the fight seriously damaged the horn to her rival Muktyabrina. We hope that in the «Bryanskiy les» bison will become calmer and will live freely in the forest”.

Bison from the Central Bison nursery will be taken to the Bryansk region on two specialized machines. This is a car-manipulator from the Prioksko-Terrasny reserve and a long truck, specially arrived from Bryansk. To accompany the bison will be specialists from the nursery, headed by the deputy director for the breeding and keeping of bison Irina Zemlyanko.

The reserve «Bryanskiy les» is ready to receive bison in special spacious open-air cages. Specialists will carefully monitor the adaptation of their new wards. After the quarantine, which will last 1 month, it will be decided to release a young herd in the forests of the reserve.

For reference:
In 1997, an interregional program for preserving the Russian bison was developed in Russia. In 1998, the Working Group on Bison was created the “Bison Preservation Strategy in Russia”. Work to create a wild population of bison was started in the National Park “Orel Polesye.” More than 60 animals from different countries, including Russia, Holland, Switzerland and Germany, were brought to the national park. Later, the process of settling bison from the «Orlovskoye Poles’ye» to neighboring reserves – «Smolenskoye Poozer’ye», «Ugra», «Bryanskiy les» and «Kaluzhskiye Zaseki» began. One of the sources of animals for settlement in the wild was the Central Bison nursery of the Prioksko-Terrasniy Reserve. At the moment, the free population of the bison of the Oryol, Bryansk and Kaluga regions numbers more than 500 animals.
In the international scientific community, Russia is recognized as the only country in Europe where it is possible to revive the bison at will.