By Bianca Stefanut, Senior Communications Officer WWF Romania
The Southern Carpathians are home to one of the last wilderness strongholds of Europe. The landscape is varied, from virgin forests declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites to mountain ranges and pastures.
The survival of this mosaic of flora and fauna depends on large herbivores, mainly European bison, which are considered the landscape architects of nature. Once roaming in herds of hundreds throughout Europe, wild bison were driven to extinction in the early twentieth century by hunting and habitat loss. Started in 2014, the ongoing bison reintroduction programme by WWF Romania and Rewilding Europe was the largest ever attempted in the Southern Carpathians.
Another 7 individuals arrived this year in the Armeniș area of Țarcu Mountains after travelling from the Springe Reserve in Germany. Around 50 animals currently roam freely in the two release sites in the Țarcu and Poiana Ruscă Mountains, in the vicinity of the Densuș commune. This year more than 6 calves were noticed by the LIFE Bison Project rangers happily keeping up with the herds.
The overall objective of the project, which runs until December 2020, is to establish a wild bison population that is demographically and genetically viable in the Southern Carpathians. Subpopulations will be connected by corridors, enabling migration and genetic exchange.
The goal of Rewilding Europe and WWF Romania is to work with wild nature – with a particular focus on the bison – to develop the region. Today such development involves nature-based tourism, community-based and educational initiatives, scientific research and technological innovation.
Tracking experiences in the rewilding areas are complemented by the rich local history and culture and stunning landscapes. For a chance to catch a glimpse of Europe’s largest land mammal, learn about wild nature and contribute to the local development you can book a guided expedition by visiting the destination website: www.bisonhillock.ro
More about the LIFE Bison project on www.life-bison.com