Olech W. and Perzanowski K. 2002
A genetic background for reintroduction programs of the European bison (Bison bonasus) in the Carpathians
Biological Conservation 108: 221-228
The European bison, extirpated from the Carpathian Mountains over 200 years ago, was reintroduced to the Bieszczady Mountains in the 1960/1970s in two small, isolated herds, and is now threatened by high inbreeding and low genetic variability. A new program of re-establishing viable populations in the Carpathians is based on the genetic analysis of formerly released animals, using the European Bison Pedigree Book. Calculating founder contributions, founder genome survival, founder genome equivalent, inbreeding coefficient and mean kinship allows the identification of under-represented or missing founders. Since genetic variability is much higher among bison in captivity and, in Poland , the Lowland–Caucasian line is represented only in those free-ranging herds, the reintroduction will be based on animals from foreign breeding centres. Bison will be released into existing herds, and planned new introduction sites, to facilitate natural gene exchange in the future. The same approach will be recommended for planned introductions in the Slovakian and Romanian Carpathians.
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