Eco-activists from WWF Ukraine managed to approve the action plan for the conservation of bison

The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine has approved the National Action Plan for conserving and reproducing bison in Ukraine. This is reported by WWF Ukraine.

“The national plan was initiated and developed by WWF-Ukraine experts together with the Ministry based on materials collected by scientists from the institutions of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine,” the message reads.

WWF Ukraine ecologists note that this document is a strong condition for preserving and reproducing the European bison population in Ukraine. After all, the current state of the population (about 400 individuals) indicates that the granting of a protective status (1980) and the inclusion of the bison in the Red Book of Ukraine (1994, 2009, 2021 editions) with the status of “extinct in nature” are insufficient for its preservation in regions where its population was restored (reintroduced).

Instead, the National Plan provides for the comprehensive organization and implementation of measures to preserve, increase the number, and intensify efforts to create new subpopulations (herds) of this species in Ukraine, namely:

  • creation of a coordination center for the conservation and reproduction of bison;
  • conducting monitoring of bison populations and scientific research;
  • establishment of international cooperation on the conservation and reproduction of bison;
  • raising public awareness of this species;
  • preparation and implementation of legislative initiatives aimed at improving the state of the species and other measures.

The European bison is the largest animal in Europe. In Ukraine, the species is common in the Carpathians, forest-steppe and Polissya. In the 17th-19th centuries, due to excessive and uncontrolled fishing, its existence was threatened, and in most European countries, it was completely destroyed in the wild. The European bison is included in Appendix III of the Convention on the Conservation of Wild Flora and Fauna and Natural Habitats in Europe (Bern Convention). This species is included in the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the European Red List, and is also one of the key species for the classification of territories offered by the European Union within the NATURA 2000 network.

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