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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Understanding unexpected reintroduction outcomes: Why aren't European bison colonizing suitable habitat in the Carpathians?

Published source details

Ziółkowska E., Perzanowski K., Bleyhl B., Ostapowicz K. & Kuemmerle T. (2016) Understanding unexpected reintroduction outcomes: Why aren't European bison colonizing suitable habitat in the Carpathians? Biological Conservation, 195, 106-117


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Translocate to re-establish or boost populations in native range Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A study in 1963–2010 in two areas of mixed broadleaf and montane forest with alpine meadows in the northern Carpathian mountains of Ukraine, Slovakia and Poland (Ziółkowska et al. 2016) found that three European bison Bison bonasus herds persisted >6 years after the last release of translocated individuals. Between 6–47 years after releases, around 320 free-ranging European bison survived in the three herds. Two herds (totalling about 300 individuals) resulted from 30–47-year-old translocations. The third herd (about 20 individuals) resulted from a translocation some six years earlier. The study was conducted in the Polish Bieszczady Mountains and in the Slovak Poloniny National. Bison were translocated to the Polish Bieszczady Mountains between 1963 and 1980 and to the Slovak Poloniny National in 2004. No details are provided on the number of animals translocated nor on their origin. GPS locations of bison were collected in 2001–2010 (29,382 records). No monitoring details are provided, but bison presence data included direct observations, tracks, faeces and signs of feeding. Six bison were radio-tracked in 2002–2006 (two locations recorded at least twice a week).

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)