“THE PROTECTION OF POLISH BISONS : THE DEVELOP AND PROTECTION OF ZACHODNIPOMORSKIE HERD”
The following steps are to be made over the project :
- to create 2 satellite herds
- to monitor the herd electronically
- to feed and provide veterinary service
- to educate local community
CREATE THE SATELLITE HERDS
According the project 2 satellite herds will be created 20-50 kilometres from the main herd of Miroslawiec . The distance must be long enough the groups join together , from the other hand the gap must not be to big – as the exchanges of individuals between the herds are necessary . After receiving the approval from local authority we have built 2 acclimatizing enclosures 4 hectares each containing forest , meadow and water . We fenced the are with trunks and electric wire and the troughs were built one in each as well . The troughs will be used to feed the bison even after they are released . At the end of vegetation time we brought to each of the enclosures 6 cows from free range herd living in Bialowieza . The 2 bulls for every of the enclosures were brought from outside of Bialowieza ( to avoid spreading the balanopostithis ) being specially selected by professor Wanda Olech . Bison will spend three months in the enclosures will be carefully watched with veterinary service . We will collar them on spring and will be released between June and July .
The information we have about the Zachodniporskie herd are very little . The herd was being observed and the dates were collected only at the beginning . Then all the dates a random and very rare . We started back to monitor the herd in 2005 and in 2006 the system of electronically monitoring was introduced . We collared two bulls which had been brought as fresh blood and then released from the enclosures. One of then made very long trip of 150 kilometres thanks to new equipment we could see all the way he did. Unfortunately bison died being hit by car . Thanks to electronic equipment we are given the advantage to:
- Precisely measure the area being used by the herd with places frequently used
- Estimate the paths of migration
- Use all the infos to make our work more effective – like for example we will know the best places to build the troughs
However the VHS system is very limited , the GSM/UHF system is being successfully used in Bialowieza . That kind of system gives much wider informations with many useful details . We will be able to keep many records of all kind activity including relationship with the main herd . Therefore we collared four more cows and two bulls with new GSM/UHF equipment .
FEEDING THE BISON AND VETERINARY CARE
Two main reasons of feeding the bison are : improving the physical shape of animals and to build and develop the acceptance of local community .We started the regular feeding in 2005 as the part of the project “THE PROTECTION OF POLISH BISONS : THE DEVELOP AND PROTECTION OF ZACHODNIPOMORSKIE HERD” . The project initially was founded by NFOSiGW then in 2007 was donated by PEKAO SA Bank , and is to be donated for 2008/2009 by founding EKOFUNDUSZ . The full veterinary care is being provided during whole project.
POPULARISE AND EDUCATE
We need the acceptance of local community to succeed the project. Most of the of protests and rejections come from the lack of knowledge . It is very important to provide the education in easy attractive way . We are going to do video recording of our project – the documentary film about bison will be great possibility to educate local community about bison and all steps which we can make to protect them . To do so we will use a money given by EKOFUNDUSZ buying professional video camera.