Friday, 22 March 2013

European bison relocated to the Caucasus Mountains

March 2013. Ten bison have been relocated to Tseysky Nature Sanctuary in Russia's North Ossetia region, and eight more bison were taken to the Teberdinsky Reserve.

In October, 2012 eight bison arrived in four wooden cages at the Teberdinsky reserve having travelled more than 1500 kilometres from the Oksky Reserve in the Ryazan region. Despite the long journey, the bison left the crates quickly and ran deep into the enclosure before beginning to graze on the succulent Caucasus grass.
Courtesy of WWF Caucasus

The bison remained in quarantine in the enclosure for one month before they were released into the wild in the Caucasus Mountains in November. One female bison was provided with a satellite collar so that WWF can track the herd location.

Genetic diversity
Before the arrival of these animals, only 13 bison inhabited the Teberdinsky Reserve. The group is in need of gene refreshments as no new animals have been brought to the sanctuary for more than 40 years.

Tseysky Nature Sanctuary
Also in October, ten bison arrived to Tseysky Nature Sanctuary in North Ossetia from Prioksko-Terrasny Nature Reserve near Moscow. There are already more than 40 bison in the sanctuary, but for the long-term conservation of the bison it is necessary to refresh the gene pool of this group and introduce new animals to the herd.

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