Conservation Carpathia adds 17 bison to Romania’s Făgăraș Mountains
The European bison population in Romania’s Făgăraș Mountains expanded by 17 members between November and December after nature NGO Fundația Conservation Carpathia (FCC) brought them to be introduced to two sites: Pecineagu Lake and the area of Lerești, in Argeș county.
FCC started a bison reintroduction program in the Făgăraș Mountains last fall, as part of the LIFE Carpathia project, financed by the European Commission through the LIFE and Endangered Landscapes programs.
The bison were reintroduced after more than 200 years of absence.
Six bison will be reintroduced in the area of Pecineagu Lake, and eleven to a new site, in Lerești. To ensure a healthy genetic diversity, the bison were brought from Vânători Neamț Nature Park, Valea Zimbrilor Vama Buzăului, and from reserves in the U.K (EAZA), Sweden (EBCC Scandinavia), and Germany, FCC said.
For the first weeks, the bison are kept in a quarantine area, under veterinary supervision, following current legislation. They will be released later into a wider acclimatization area, where they will get the chance to adapt easier to their environment. They will be released into the wild in the spring of next year, either to join the existing herd in the area or form a new one.
Eight bison have been released so far in the Făgăraș Mountains, and a bison calf was spotted recently with the herd.
The success of a process to reintroduce a vulnerable species like the bison is ensured when bison can survive and mate in natural conditions, FCC explained. According to a feasibility study carried out by Romsilva specialists, around 100 individuals are needed for this. This is why the reintroduction process is carried out in three areas (minimum 30 individuals in each area), allowing the bison to move and migrate between them, facilitating in time the meeting of individuals from the three groups. The first two areas have been identified, and the reintroduction program is active there. A third area is currently under authorization so that it can be populated next year.