Conservation plan for wisent Bison bonasus in Białowieski National Park


  • Zbigniew A. Krasiński European Bison Friends Society
  • Wanda Olech European Bison Freinds Society, Department of Genetics and Animal Breeding, Warsaw University of Life Sciences
  • Kajetan Perzanowski Carpathian Wildlife Research Station, Museum and Institute of Zoology PAS, Ustrzyki Dolne
  • Wojciech Bielecki Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Warsaw University of Life Sciences
  • Andrzej Bereszyński Institute of Zoology, Poznań University of Life Sciences


European bison, Białowieża, conservation, management, captive and free ranging population


Population of wisents at Białowiez˙a, consists of a group of about 40 animals maintained in captivity, and about 450 living in the wild. The main purpose of breeding the captive group is the protection of the purity of gene pool of originating from Białowieża, so called Lowland line of the species. About 10 of those animals are available to the public in the show enclosure. Free ranging part of the population is dispersed over the whole Białowieska Primeval Forest (about 650 km2 of the Polish part), only about 13% of them occupies home ranges within the national park, and some 20% of the population remains for a considerable part of the year outside of Białowieska Forest, roaming agricultural areas surrounding the forest. As strategic targets for the conservation of wisents in Białowieska Forest considered are: 1. Final determination of the species’ status over the whole area of Białowieska Forest. Including as a statutory obligation for the Białowieski National Park, supervision over all wisents inhabiting Białowieska Forest, as well within the Park as within the area of three neighboring Forest Districts. 2. Lowering of the level of inbred among wisentsmaintained in the breeding reserve of Białowieski National Park, through an import of wisents belonging to the Lowland line, selected under the framework of the European program for the conservation of the species. After the adaptation period, those animals and their progeny may supplement free ranging population of Białowieża. 3. Elaboration and implementation of a program for the improvement of health status of
wisents inhabiting Białowieska Primeval Forest.



How to Cite

Krasiński, Z. A. ., Olech, W., Perzanowski, K., Bielecki, W., & Bereszyński, A. . (2011). Conservation plan for wisent Bison bonasus in Białowieski National Park. European Bison Conservation Newsletter, 4, 101–116. Retrieved from



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