The population of free bison in the Făgăraș Mountains will increase this weekend with the addition of 21 new bison. They will be released in two areas for the reintroduction of the bison in the Făgăraș, Lerești and Pecineagu-Rucăr Mountains, Argeș County.
Currently Conservation Carpathia is happy: for the second year of the reintroduction of bison, it will manage to release 21 bison who arrived, during recent months, from Germany, Great Britain, Sweden and Vânători Neamț, in the reintroduction areas of Lerești and Pecineagu-Rucăr. They will form two new herds following release of the first bison herd in the Pecineagu reintroduction area, Argeș county in May 2020.
Free bison will be constantly monitored by the foundation’s rangers who will analyse their degree of adaptability to the new situation and will prevent possible proximity to inhabited areas.
“The activity of monitoring bison involves their daily tracking with the help of collars that emit GPS points and the storing of these data automatically in our database,” said Călin Șerban, assistant manager of the Carpathia Wildlife Conservation. “Their location in the field is determined with the help of radio wave tracking devices. Our rangers collect data on their behaviour, through direct observation, tracking them with the help of GPS collars, health assessment, interaction with other wildlife animals, habitat impact, human interaction or proximity to local communities.”
The population of bison in the Făgăraș Mountains is growing
In recent months, the two bison reintroduction areas have welcomed more and more bison. We currently have two groups, one with nine specimens in the Pecineagu-Rucăr acclimatization enclosure and one with 12 specimens in the Lerești area, ready to be released.
“In each year of project implementation, we will supplement with small groups of bison, and for this the identification of suitable bison and their takeover is one of our ongoing concerns,” said Adrian Aldea, wildlife manager of Conservation Carpathia. “All the bison that arrive, go through a period of acclimatization before being released, a period in which the cohesion of the group is achieved.”
According to the feasibility study carried out by Romsilva specialists, about 100 individuals are needed for the successful process of reintroducing a vulnerable species such as the bison. Thus, in order to ensure all the necessary conditions, in the reintroduction process three areas are proposed (minimum 30 individuals in each area) between which bison can move and migrate, facilitating in time the meeting of individuals from different groups.
Opportunities for people
The bison had disappeared from our country over 200 years ago, but considerable efforts made in recent years have brought them home. They are important for biodiversity, creating opportunities for other species. Being gentle animals, they can be seen from a comfortable distance and thus can contribute to the development of communities as a tourist attraction in itself.
“I strongly believe that a sustainably developed community is one that grows in harmony with the nature that defines it,” said Marian Toader, mayor of Lerești, Argeș County. “We are proud and happy about the arrival of the bison in our area, this is a step towards a return to a healthy natural ecosystem. This action has real tourist potential, thus offering us the framework for declaring Lerești commune a Tourist Resort of National Interest. There are already a number of examples in Romania, of areas that have become important tourist attractions merely through the presence of this emblematic species in our country “, continued Marian Toader.
However, all these actions could not take place without the support and backing of the local authorities in Rucăr, Lerești and Nucșoara, the relevant regional authorities.
About the LIFE Carpathia project
This action was carried out within the LIFE Carpathia project (“Creation of a wild area in the south of the Carpathian Mountains, Romania”, LIFE18 NAT/RO/00108). The main purpose of the project is the reconstruction of degraded habitats and the application of conservation measures that allow the restoration of natural processes and that also create benefits for local communities in the Făgăraș Mountains area.