International Congress: October 12 – 13, 2017

2007 – 2017: 10 years of European bison in Kraansvlak, The Netherlands

PWN and ARK Nature cordially invite you to the International Congress celebrating 10 years of European bison in coastal dune area Kraansvlak, part of National Park Zuid-Kennemerland, the Netherlands. The past decade, much knowledge has been gained studying this semi-wild living herd, that is not receiving supplemental feeding and roams in a heterogeneous landscape not dominated by forests. We are looking forward to share experiences with you during this congress.

The congress will take place near Amsterdam (capital of the Netherlands) on October 12 and 13, 2017. Included is a visit to The Maashorst, a Dutch nature reserve, where European bison live since 2016. 


Programme Thursday October 12

Moderator: Renée Meissner, Herds & Homelands

09:30h - Arrival of guests, coffee/tea provided

10:00h - Official opening Congress by Joke Cuperus, PWN Director

10:10h - Presentation Prof. Wanda Olech-Piasecka, Dean Faculty of Animal Science, Dept of Genetics and Animal Breeding, Warsaw University of Life Sciences; Coordinator European Bison Conservation Center – Poland. 'Current status and conservation actions European bison populations' (title tbd)

10:45h - Presentation MSc Yvonne Kemp, ARK Nature & PWN - the Netherlands. 'Ten years of European bison in Kraansvlak: a project overview'

11:15h - Coffee, tea break

11:30h - Presentation Associate Prof. dr. Joris Cromsigt - Environmental Sciences, Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Universiteit Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands; Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Environmental Studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå, Sweden. 'Ecological insights from the Kraansvlak: diet, habitat use and effects on vegetation'              

12:00h - Presentation Dr. hab. Rafał Kowalczyk, Director Mammal Research Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences, Bialowieza - Poland. 'The beast in the cage - International scientific perspective about future management of European bison'

12:35h - Round table session 1: discussing E. bison management practices

13:05h - Lunch

14:00h - Presentation Esther Rodriguez, biologist PWN & ARK Nature - the Netherlands. 'European bison in highly populated areas: Working towards a wilder nature in The Netherlands'

14:30h - Round table session 2: discussing E. bison – human interactions on European scale 

15:00h - Bike trip (15 minutes, each way) and field visit to specially designed handling facility for European bison, and to bison area Kraansvlak (hike in dune area)

! Suitable outdoor clothes and footwear adviced

17:30h - At Zandwaaier (other side of road from Congress venue, few minutes walking distance) for refreshments

18:30h - Dinner and informal evening programme

! There is no time in between to go to the hotel so we advice to take any change of clothes to Thursday morning venue location. 


Congress venue: Visitor Centre De KennemerduinenAddress: Zeeweg 12, 2051 EC Overveen

For information how to get there, see here

Travel time by car from Schiphol is approximately 45 minutes, depending on traffic.


Programme Friday October 13

Day trip by arranged bus to The Maashorst, another Dutch nature reserve with European bison (since March 2016), for presentations and fieldtrip. ! Suitable outdoor clothes and footwear adviced

09.00  - Departure by bus from Visitor Centre De Kennemerduinen, Overveen

11.00  - Arrival in Blauwrijk, Hoogslabroekseweg 3, 5406 VP Uden, with coffee and tea provided

11.10  - Presentation Dirk Goudkuil, National Forest Service - the Netherlands. 'European bison in the heart of the Veluwe'

11.30  - Presentation Leo Linnartz, ARK Nature - the Netherlands. 'Nature restoration in the Maashorst'

12.00  - Field visit, with lunch provided

15.30  - Back in Blauwrijk for refreshments and Congress closure by Yvonne Kemp, Project Leader

16.00  - Departure by arranged bus to Visitor Centre De Kennemerduinen, Overveen

18:30  - Back at Visitor Centre De Kennemerduinen, Overveen



Additional information

There is no conference fee, and drinks and lunches during both congress days are provided. In addition, Thursday evening dinner is provided. 

Information about how to get from Schiphol airport, see

Information about how to get to Schiphol airport, see

The beautiful old city of Haarlem, the town Overveen in which the Congress takes place, as well as seaside town Zandvoort are all easy accesible by public transport. 

For information and to plan your Dutch journey by train, see For planning bus journeys, see


Accomodation options

Stay Okay Haarlem, tel +31 (0)23 537 37 93

Hotel Bloemendaal, tel +31 (0)23 526 46 86

Hotel Bleecker Hotel Bleecker, tel +31 (0)23 527 17 87

Bloemendaal Suites, tel +31 (0)23 574 61 71 

NH Zandvoort Hotel, tel +31 (0)20 701 80 42

Loetje Overveen, tel +31 (0)23 527 74 57

Hotel Lion D'Or, tel +31 (0)23 532 17 50 

Amadeus Hotel, tel +31 (0)23 5324530

Hotel Carillon, tel +31 (0)23 531 05 91