A notice from Fernando Wisent Moran Castillo on the facebook page of Bisonte Europeo en España. Centro de Conservación (They don’t seem to have a website!)
The World Congress of the European Bison was recently held, mostly still in online format. There is a substantial change this year. I have been attending this congress since 2007 and for the first time the clamor, the focus, the presentations, the concerns and finally, everything, revolved around management instead of conservation.
The species, in this year 2021 more than presumably, will exceed 10,000 individuals and now more than ever management is necessary. It is no longer a race for more bison, but for specie to live in the wildest and most natural possible way … and obviously on a continent (Europe) where many humans live and make multiple uses of the territory, economic or leisure uses.
This is a great achievement for the species and for those few who have spent years working to achieve it. The growth data, as in any species when numbers start to grow, begins to take flight exponentially and there are large areas of Eastern Europe where they are expanding and forming populations of hundreds, which will soon reach thousands.
For our part, we are proud of our grain of sand in Spain despite the complications, debate and doubts that this species generates, mostly among administrations since society is clearly in favor, although we continue to think that the European Bison is a great opportunity for Spain in those abandoned places of extensive livestock (increasingly, sadly) as a firefighter against fires, an umbrella species to increase biodiversity, open spaces for grass and herbivores, restore natural processes and with a first-rate ecotourism potential.
Some day those abandoned and forgotten rural councils may realize this. Hopefully sooner rather than later.