The European Bison

Discussion in 'Ecology & Environmentalism' started by Svíar, 12 June 2014.

  1. Svíar

    Svíar Heroic Member Sustaining Member

    The European Bison or Wisent was once indigineous to the forests of central Europe and mainly Germany and it seems it is finally coming back after extinction in Germany from reserves in Poland and from other places such as zoo's and private reserves.
    I see this as a great thing, something that restores the beauty and grandeur of Europe's nature and a part of our lands history as well as an advantage for the natural diversity of the European fauna.
    I also wonder if this animal might've had any meaning to our ancestors seeing as bears and wolfs are frequently used as animals of power, even the boar and seeing as this is a native European powerful beast as well it might be interesting to find out.

    Personally I find this an important step to restore and preserve the natural beauty of Europe in all her forms.

    (The voice of the speaker is sort of commercial and gay but whatever)
    • Like Like x 5
  2. Mojave

    Mojave Senior Member

    I would wonder if the animal here is the descendant of the aurochs, mentioned by Freya Aswynn as the spirit and source of the Uruz rune, but now extinct. In any case, one hopes that Europeans, tho they've killed each other off regularly for aeons will treat a recovering animal species better than we here in North America did a thriving one. I've read that an environmental movement of sorts emerged in the early years of the NSDAP regime. I hope it took root.
  3. Celtic Skogsra

    Celtic Skogsra Heroic Member

    The aurochs is extinct as a wild ancestral type, but survives in domesticated form as familiar cattle. Wisent are completely different animals.

    You might be interested in Heck cattle, and in traditional landraces like the Chillingham cattle that approximate aurochsen.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Arboreality

    Arboreality Member

    I've been following the conservation and reintroduction of the wisent for years. This development was definitely a victory, a great step towards restoring a shard of natural beauty to Europe that was threatened by deforestation. Considering this thread itself is over 3 years old, I'll give us an update. To my knowledge, the wisent have adjusted well to their time in their reserve and overall things are looking cautiously optimistic for their future. They've been doing well overall in many areas of Europe, the broad trend is that their numbers are recovering, but they won't be truly thriving for a while. The wisents in Poland especially are really bouncing back.

    Fortunately, in terms of the gene pool, there aren't many signs of inbreeding depression beyond minor differences in osteology. Of course, it's not all good news. Where attention really needs to be placed is in Ukraine. This is where the population is highly unstable due to disturbance after disturbance to their herding and feeding rituals. Even worse, man-made environmental activity has interfered with multiple pivotal males' fertility in an already fragile and aging population of less than 300 in total. Incidentally, if I recall, we're actually in the middle of the wisents' natural mating season. Let's hope things go well for them this year, they're still hanging in the balance.
    • Superb Superb x 1
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