The authorities of Yakutia consider it necessary to include forest bison in the Red Book of Russia for better protection of the animal population that were brought into the region from Canada. This was announced on Tuesday by the Minister of Nature Protection of the Republic Sakhamin Afanasiev.
Since 2006, the region has been implementing a project on the reintroduction of forest bison in a taiga ecosystem. In November 2017, the first animals were released into the wild from the ‘Sinyaya’ Nature Park in Gorny district as an experiment. Now the number of bison of Canadian and local origin reaches 184.
"There is a question in determining the legal status of the forest bison. Taking into account the release of animals into the natural habitat and the formation of a free-living herd, it is necessary to include it in the list of fauna of the Russian Federation, which will become the basis for entering the species in the Red Book of the Russian Federation,” the minister said. According to him, the work on the bison introduction into the regional Red Book has already begun.
He believes that success in the cultivation of the forest bison in the harsh conditions of Yakutia indicates the viability of this species and "suggests that further settlement of animals in the taiga zone of the Northeast of the country is possible."
As noted by Sakhamin Afanasiev, the natural and climatic conditions of central Yakutia are suitable for breeding animals: "This is due to the fact that small-valley lands are widespread. They are inaccessible to agricultural development. This is a free ecological niche for the habitat of forest bison, for the creation of their natural populations."
The minister added that releasing animals into the wild will take place each year, which will increase the number of bison in areas adjacent to the nursery areas.