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Study for Reintroduction of European Bison in the Rhodopes Has Begun

In late September, Polish,Dutch and Bulgarian experts on European Bison visited several areas in the valley of the rivers Arda and Byala Reka in the Eastern Rhodopes and mountain ridge Mursalitsa in Western Rhodopes to study the possibility of reintroduction of this extinct herbivore  in the region.

Their conclusion is that the natural resources allow the return of this very rare European grazer. The conditions in the Western Rhodopes are very similar to the conditions in Bieszczadzki National Park in Poland, which is inhabited by a growing population of over 300 bisons.

A detailed study of anthropogenic factors is carried out now (users of the areas, poaching, concerns of local communities, grazing rights and other). Additional studies on the climate condition are also foreseen.

NTG hopes  the experts will  complete the feasibility  studies within six months  and that the advise will be positive.

The last wild Bulgarian Bisons  were wiped out several centuries ago. In the sixties  of the last century the species has been reintroduced in northern Bulgaria. Population numbers increased to more than 200 animals and the reintroduction seemed very successfyl. After 1989 most of the animals were killed by poachers and today only about twenty remained in a state hunting reserve Voden.

The reintroduction of the species in the Rhodopes will be a significant step towards the Bison’s conservation in Europe.

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