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WWF and Rewilding Europe begin the largest reintroduction of bison in Europe

19 / 05 / 2014, Panda.org

After a 200 year absence, the European bison has been returned to southern Romania in the biggest reintroduction of the species to take place in Europe.

The WWF and Rewilding Europe initiative saw 20 bison from several European countries brought to the Southern Carpathians in the southwest of the country, with a further 10 to be reintroduced over the summer.

“This is the biggest ever bison reintroduction and transportation to have taken place in Europe. We aim to protect natural values in the wildest areas of the Southern Carpathians and ensure their recovery where they were lost”, says Adrian Hăgătiş, project manager at WWF.

Increasing the numbers of bison is important for both the survival of the species and biodiversity reasons. The European bison, also called the Wisent, is a so-called keystone species in the European ecosystems, with an important role through grazing and as prey for larger carnivores such as bears.

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