What next with Pless line of European bison from Pszczyna – a question on the 155th anniversary of restitution and breeding?


  • Jerzy B. Parusel Upper Silesia Natural Heritage Center, Katowice, Poland


Pszczyna European bison line, history of breeding and restitution, European bison, European bison breeding center in Pszczyna


The paper presents the results of breeding and protection of European bison from the Pless (Pszczyna) line in the world until 2019 and in Pszczyna Jankowice center, with particular emphasis on the years 1997–2019, i.e. during the implementation of the breeding program for captive herds in Poland (Olech 1997). Despite the enormous historical, cultural and natural value of the Pszczyna line, the consistent elimination of animals belonging to this line from the world population is progressing. Until 2019, the European Bison Pedigree Book registered the birth of only 351 (185,166) wisent from the Pszczyna line, which constituted just 2.7% of all individuals recorded in the EBPB. In 2019, only 40 wisents of this line lived in Europe, which constituted 18.1% of individuals in Polish captive herds and 2.3% in the world. In Pszczyna breeding center the proportion of animals from Pszczyna line in 2019 was only 48.7%. Thus, the breeding potential of the center in Pszczyna is not used to continue the tradition of Pszczyna line breeding, which was one of the aims of the national European bison breeding program (Olech 1997). Established in 2006, the enclosure for Pszczyna line animals does not play any significant role in the preservation of this line and has mainly an educational role. In the years 2006–2019, only 18 wisents of the Pszczyna line were born in this enclosure, which is 14.1% of the total number of animals born in Pszczyna. The recommended preservation of the Pszczyna line to continue the breeding tradition of Pszczyna (Olech 1997) requires the development and implementation of a special program for saving the genetic diversity and preserving the genes of the Pszczyna line founders. The center in Pszczyna should play a leading role in this program, and all breeding centers and zoos in Silesia as well as selected centers in the country and abroad should participate.




How to Cite

Parusel, J. B. (2021). What next with Pless line of European bison from Pszczyna – a question on the 155th anniversary of restitution and breeding?. European Bison Conservation Newsletter, 13, 39–56. Retrieved from https://ojs.wisent.org/index.php/czasopismo/article/view/24



Peer-reviewed articles