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Podkarpackie. How many bisons live in the Bieszczady Mountains?

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There are 811 bisons living in the Bieszczady Mountains – according to an inventory conducted in March. The largest population of these animals occurs in the Baligród Forest District. Nine individuals can be seen in a show enclosure in Muczne, within the Stuposiana Forest District.

As Edward Marszałek, the spokesman for the Regional Directorate of State Forests in Krosno, pointed out on Monday, 811 bisons means “an increase of several percent compared to last year, when a total of 750 of them were counted.” Data from the Regional Directorate of State Forests in Krosno show that the number of these animals in the region increased year by year. . For example, in 1997 their number was 110 individuals, in 2009 it was 290, and in 2021 there were 719 bisons in the region.

Currently, bison herds live in the following forest districts: Baligród, Cisna, Komańcza, Lesko, Lutowiska and Stuposiany, and single individuals are also observed in the foothills within the forest districts of Bircza, Brzozów and Krasiczyn.

Mostly in the Baligród Forest District

– During the inventory, the largest population, numbering 318 individuals concentrated in 14 groups, was observed in the forests of the Baligród Forest District. The largest single herd, numbering 52 individuals, lives near the non-existent village of Hulskie in the Lutowiska Forest District – Edward Marszałek, spokesman for the Regional Directorate of State Forests in Krosno, said on Monday.

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Of the over 800 bisons living in Podkarpacie, nine animals can be seen in the show enclosure in Muczne in the Stuposiany Forest District.

See also: A bison girl was born in the show pen in Muczne

“There is no fear of recording the same individuals twice”

Foresters have been taking care of bisons in the Bieszczady Mountains for over 60 years. Therefore, as emphasized by the deputy director of the RDLP in Krosno for forest management, Marek Marecki, the monitoring of bisons and the annual inventory was entrusted to foresters by the General Directorate for Environmental Protection in 2009.

– The accuracy of this census results from the fact that it is conducted on one selected day at the beginning of March in all units, including private land, and is preceded by many days of observation of herds. Therefore, there is no risk of recording the same individuals twice. However, we conduct herd health monitoring all year round, explained Marecki.

Facts about bisonNational forests

For several years, scientists dealing with this species have been expressing concern about population overdensity, which results, among other things, in increased damage to agricultural and forest crops, but above all, causes an increase in the epidemiological threat related to tuberculosis or thelaziosis, which affects several dozen individuals every year. Therefore, the General Director of Environmental Protection issues decisions to eliminate sick animals, and every year remains of bisons killed by wolves and even bears are found.

Over the past few years, 13 Bieszczady bisons left for Bulgaria and Romania, where they joined the herds living in the local mountains.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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