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16 April 2019, 18:02

Bison population in Belarus up 6% since 2017

MINSK, 16 April (BelTA) – Bison population in Belarus has increased by 107 head (6%) since 2017 to total 1886 head, BelTA learned from the Belarusian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

There are 11 bison micro-populations in the country (Belovezhskaya, Borisovsko-Berezinskaya, Ozeranskaya, Nalibokskaya, Polesskaya, Osipovichskaya, Ozerskaya, Lyaskovichskaya, Naidyanskaya, Krasnoborskaya, Dyatlovskaya). The biggest number of bison is in the Belovezhskaya (567), Osipovichskaya (456) and Ozerskaya (315) micro-populations.

Bison is included in the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species, and also the red lists of Russia, Poland, Ukraine, and Lithuania. Bison in Belarus has been under protection since 1946. Work on the preservation of the European bison population is carried out as part of the subprogram “Conservation and sustainable use of biological and landscape diversity” of the state program “Environment and Sustainable Use of Natural Resources” for 2016-2020. The purpose of these activities is to increase the viability and long-term preservation of the species, as well as the regulation of their number.

The Belarusian concept for bison conservation and sustainable use is aimed at ensuring the further growth and stabilization of the Belarusian bison population at a level that guarantees its long-term survival (1,500 individuals). “This task was successfully completed. Belarus is the world's leading country in the number of free-roaming bison,” the ministry said.

There are, however, problems associated with the bison's impact on natural ecosystems and cultivated land, the state of individual micro-populations. In this regard, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, together with interested government bodies and organizations, is improving approaches to the conservation and sustainable use of bison. This work includes the adjustment of regulatory legal acts and strategic program documents.

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