Love will save from extinction: animal rights activists save a herd of bison, which lost all males due to occupation

Love will save from extinction: animal rights activists save a herd of bison, which lost all males due to occupation

In the Zalissya National Park in the Kyiv Region, animal rights activists are trying to save a herd of bison, in which not a single adult male remained after the occupation in 2022.

The bison from Vinnytsia will help preserve the entire subpopulation, but for this it needs to travel more than 300 kilometers, reported “UP. Life” in the nature conservation organization WWF-Ukraine.

In order to transport the animal for breeding, animal rights activists opened a collection for 400 thousand hryvnias.

The “romantic” rescue operation will consist of four stages and may last about a year.

In the Zalissya National Park, a herd of bison was left without a single male because of the Russians. Illustrative photo: Ola Jennersten/WWF-Sweden

At the beginning of the full-scale war, a herd of bison living in the Zalissya National Nature Park spent more than a month under Russian occupation. Their home, along with the surrounding villages, was at the center of hostilities.

The territory of the national park was subjected to powerful artillery fire, and military equipment was moving along the forest roads.

“INiina affected the general condition of bison in the natural park: not a single adult male remained among them. If at least one bull is not settled there in the near future, then this subpopulation is doomed to extinction.

One or two male bison from Vinnytsia can save the herd in “Zalissa”, but for this the animals have to travel about 300 kilometers. This path is not easy, so the bison need our help and donations. Love doesn’t have to be at a distance.” – say animal rights activists.

WWF-Ukraine is collecting funds to bring a male to Kyiv region

The bison rescue operation is planned to be carried out in four stages. The first of them is obtaining a special permit from the Ministry of Environment for catching and moving bison. This stage is mandatory, as the bison is listed in the Red Book of Ukraine.

“The process of obtaining a permit includes preliminary approval in various institutions. This process is ongoing, and WWF-Ukraine has already received the first approvals”the organization said.

Zoo activists assume that this stage will be completed by May.

The second stage is preparation for fishing. Scientists will choose the male, the method and time of capture, and will also involve veterinarians to monitor the health of the animals. At this stage, you need to make cages for the bison, stock up on fodder for baiting, feeding, etc.

The third stage is the catching of the bison and its transportation. In the end, scientists will release the bison and will continue to monitor the situation. The estimated time limits of this stage are January-March 2025.

“After transporting the animal, everything will just begin. At this stage, quarantine keeping of the bison in the enclosure and feeding, examination of the animal by veterinarians and other experts, repeated analysis, release from the enclosure and further monitoring of the success of the adaptation of the bison in the herd with the help of photo traps and telemetry collars are necessary.” – says WWF-Ukraine.

Thanks to the monitoring tools, animal rights activists will learn how successfully the male integrates into the herd from “Zalissya”.

Read also: “The bullet went through”: in Volyn, a dead bison was found in the forest

The European bison is listed in the Red Book of Ukraine and requires conservation. Illustrative photo: Ola Jennersten/WWF-Sweden

We will remind, the European bison was completely destroyed in the wild. Only thanks to environmental protection measures, it was possible to partially restore the population of this species.

The species is included in the Red Book of Ukraine, the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the Berne Convention.

In Ukraine, the European bison lives in the Carpathians, in the forest-steppe and in Polissia. The largest herd in Ukraine lives in the Lviv Region.

The WWF says that compared to the beginning of the 90s, the number of bison in Ukraine has almost halved. Five foci of the species have disappeared in the Ivano-Frankivsk, Rivne, Lviv, and Chernihiv regions, as well as in the Crimea.

Bison eat only plant food: grass, leaves, bark, buds, young shoots and branches. For a full life, they need to have a large forest with clearings, water bodies and the opportunity to travel freely in search of better conditions and food.

Bison were brought to the territory of the Zalissya National Park in 1967 from Bialowieza Forest. 8 animals formed a forest subpopulation that still lives in semi-free housing conditions.

The fenced land area reached 14.8 thousand hectares, but in March 2022, a large part was destroyed due to the war.

Read also: Ukraine’s largest herd of bison lives in Lviv Oblast. VIDEO

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