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European Bison

Cumberland Wildpark Grünau
Grünau, Austria
  1787 Visits
The European Bison is Europe’s largest terrestrial mammal. The reintroduction in its original habitat was only made possible with captive bred offspring of European bisons under human care. At present, herds of European Bisons re-inhabit Lithuania, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, and Romania. Studies on reintroduced free-ranging European Bisons showed that they spend over 80% of their time foraging and resting. Herds are organized in loose aggregations which constantly vary in size and composition. Outside the breeding season these loose aggregations are composed of individuals of the same sex: females stay together in small groups, while males prefer to stay at the edge of female groups, or roam around alone. Adult females are the leaders of the herd: they usually initiate group movements to new feeding grounds, probably because they are more experienced than younger individuals. European Bisons prefer densely forested areas for resting because they offer protection against disturbances.