October 17, 2007

International interest in our wisent project

On Friday 12 October Necov (Flemish-Dutch society of ecologists) held a theme day on the subject ‘the future of the wisent in the low countries’. Besides many scientists, also some colleagues of the State Forest Service East Veluwe attended the day. They would like to do something with wisents in the future as well. The recommendations that were made included an inventory of potential wisent habitats in the Netherlands and Belgium. This might be a further step towards reaching one of the objectives of our project: a possible active re-introduction of wisents in the Netherlands.

On Sunday 14 October Naturverein Taurus visited the Netherlands with a large German and Danish delegation of grazing-experts. On Saturday they had been to Oostvaardersplassen, on Sunday the wisent project was on the agenda. In Germany several wisent projects have been started and many more are being prepared, for example in the Rothargebirge. They were impressed by the research approach and much interested in the first results. In visitor centre De Zandwaaier they were given a presentation, followed by a visit to Kraansvlak. Unfortunately the wisents did not show up. At the end of the day we were invited to present our Kraansvlak experiences in Germany at the Rothagebirge. We will be glad to acccept the invitation.

At both meetings attendants were particularly interested in the interactions between wisents and the public, because opinions differ greatly on this subject. At Kraansvlak we are carefully gaining experience in this, now with researchers, rangers and occasional excursions, later probably with guided fixed route excursions. “Our” wisents have behaved perfectly until now and keep their distance (and so do we).


Excursie Kraansvlak. Foto: Leo Linnartz