Perzanowski K., Olech W., Kozak I. 2004.
Constraints for re-establishing a meta-population of the European bison in Ukraine
Biological Conservation , Article in press.
The European bison Bison bonasus had been extirpated from the present territory of Ukraine by late 18th century. Since its restitution initiated in mid-sixties of the 20th century, seven bison herds occur in lowlands, and four along the Ukrainian Carpathians. Initial genetic structure of a herd has been evaluated on the basis of pedigree records on founder animals available for seven herds. Low bison numbers in particular herds, and considerable distances among their home ranges, do not create favourable conditions for further development of the population and natural gene exchange. Due to limited natural linkage among present bison ranges, and impenetrable barriers fragmenting lowland Ukraine, the establishment of a viable meta-population would require an active population management including the monitoring of its genetic structure, enrichment of gene pool through exchange of animals among herds, and facilitation of contacts with free ranging bison in neighbouring countries – Byelorussia, Poland and Romania.
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