In November and December, the bison group from the Făgăraș Mountains will receive another 17 members. They are brought by Conservation Carpathia to two reintroduction areas: Pecineagu Lake and Lerești area, Argeș County.
Starting last autumn, within the LIFE Carpathia project, funded by the European Commission through the LIFE programme and the Endangered Landscapes Programme, the foundation began a comprehensive initiative to reintroduce bison in the Făgăraș Mountains, after a gap of more than 200 years. The action in recent weeks marks the augmentation of the number of bison already brought in a year ago with another 17 bison. Six are being brought into the first reintroduction area, Lake Pecineagu, and a further 11 in the second new area, in Lerești. In order to ensure a healthy genetic diversity, the bison came from the Vânători Neamț Natural Park, the Buzău Customs Bison Valley, as well as from reservations in Great Britain (EAZA), Sweden (EBCC Scandinavia) and Germany.
As we did last year, the bison are accommodated during the first few weeks in a quarantine area where they will be under veterinary supervision, according to the requirements of current legislation. Subsequently, the bison will be released into a larger acclimatization area, thus allowing the opportunity to adapt more easily to the environment (temperature, relief, vegetation, predators, etc.). In the spring of next year, they will be released, joining the already released herd or forming a new one.
The first eight bison released in the Făgăraș Mountains and the first calf born in the wild
From May this year, the eight bison, who arrived in the Pecineagu area in the autumn of 2019, have been found roaming the forests of the Făgăraș Mountains. Conservation Carpathia carries out bison monitoring actions in order to be able to check the degree of adaptability, but also to prevent possible approaches to inhabited areas.
The best news and confirmation that the Făgăraș Mountains are a real home for bison is the presence of a calf of only a few weeks old found with the herd by FCC rangers. Reproduction in the wild is one of the clear proofs that the bison reintroduction programme is going in the right direction and is a real success.
Why do we need more reintroduction areas?
The success of a process of reintroducing a vulnerable species such as bison is ensured when bison can survive and multiply in natural conditions; according to the feasibility study carried out by Romsilva specialists, around 100 specimens are needed for this. Thus, in order to ensure all the necessary conditions, the reintroduction process is carried out in three areas (minimum 30 individuals in each area) between which bison can move and migrate, facilitating in time the meeting of individuals from the three groups.
Thus, the first two areas have been identified where the reintroduction programme is active, and the foundation is being authorized so that a third area can be populated next year. However, all these actions could not take place without the support and backing of the local authorities from Rucăr, Lerești and Nucșoara, the relevant regional authorities.
About the LIFE Carpathia project
The project is implemented within the project “Creation of a Wilderness Reserve in the Southern Carpathian Mountains, Romania”. The main purpose of the project is the restoration of the degraded habitats and the application of conservation measures over an area large enough to allow natural processes to take place, to benefit biodiversity and local communities.
Financial support from: The European Commission through the LIFE Nature programme (www.ec.europa.eu) and the Arcadia Foundation through the ELP program (Endangered Landscapes Programme, www.endangeredlandscapes.org).
The content of this material does not necessarily represent the official position of the European Union.