Thank Russian Leaders for Bison Recovery Efforts

Target: Evgeny Shvarts, Director of Conservation Policy, World Wildlife Fund in Russia

Goal: Thank leaders for implementing a bison recovery effort in Russia

Russia’s bison population is threatened with extinction. Thankfully, the Russian and German branches of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), with the help of local Russian governments, have been attempting to boost bison numbers since 1996. Their bison recovery efforts have succeeded in four Russian regions, reaching 150 bison in 2008. The organization now hopes the animals will be able to reproduce in the wild.

More recent efforts seek to boost bison populations in the Caucasus Mountains specifically. Just this month, 10 bison were relocated to the Tseysky Nature Sanctuary in North Ossetia and eight to the Teberdinsky Reserve. This closely follows the arrival of eight bison from the Oksky Reserve in Ryazan, over 900 miles (1500 km) away, and 10 from the Prioksko-Terrasny Nature Reserve near Moscow. Previously, the Teberdinsky Reserve was home to only 13 bison.

According to Wildlife Extra News, scientists hope the introduction will “refresh the gene pool.” That is, the 26 newcomers were introduced in order to promote diversity in the bison’s reproductive cycle. They are the first new bison in the area in over 40 years. Generally, new bison live in an enclosed reserve for a month before being reintroduced into the wild of the Caucasus Mountains. A female in this particular herd is being tracked via satellite collar. These methods have helped saved the European bison from extinction and increase its numbers in the wild. Praise Russian leaders and scientists for aiding in bison recovery.


Dear Mr. Shvarts,

Over the last decade and a half, Russia’s World Wildlife Fund, with the help of government leaders, WWF Germany and other private organizations, has implemented a bison recovery measure that has proved successful on reserves throughout Russia. The introduction of bison into areas where they have become sparse is allowing the species to proliferate in the wild once again. Your organization has been instrumental in reintroducing bison to the wilds of the Caucasus Mountains, the Tseysky Nature Sanctuary in North Ossetia, and the Teberdinsky Reserve. By diversifying the gene pool of this small number of creatures, these animals will be able to survive in the wild for generations to come.

I praise your bison recovery efforts in the Caucasus Mountains and throughout Russia. I hope you will continue your bison recovery measures for many years into the future.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Michael Gabler via Wikimedia

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