February 26, 2015

Preparations for bison translocation in full swing

The preparations to move a number of bison are in full swing in the Kraansvlak dune area. Due to natural growth the number of bison has increased in such a way that several of them become available for other areas. The project team is delighted that from now on bison from Kraansvlak also get a chance of a bright future elsewhere. In order to realize the translocation, a corral has been built. The corral helps to catch the animals in a calm way and to prepare them by the veterinarian before they will be transported.

Since 2009, every year calves have been born in Kraansvlak. These are the first bison in the Netherlands that grew up under natural conditions. The enlargement of the herd enables it to translocate animals to other natural areas. Animals that leave Kraansvlak in the coming years contribute to one of the major goals of the project; the conservation of this endangered species. Not only bison will be exported, but also knowledge. Project partners PWN and ARK Nature share their years of experience with other bison areas in the Netherlands as well as abroad.

Wisent en publiek. Foto: Esther Linnartz

The capture corral will be used in April for the first time for the transport of five animals to the Veluwe. The bison live in the dunes of Kraansvlak in an enclosed area. Apart from a fence to keep the animals in the Kraansvlak area, they live, along with a group of Konik horses, under natural conditions.

The area of the bison and horses will again be extended, this time on the northeast side. This area is managed by Staatsbosbeheer. The total area in which the animals can roam becomes 350 hectares. In the area that will be included in the current bison area, a group of Scottish Highland cattle is present. The enlargement of the terrain makes it possible to expand the number of large grazer species in the bison project. It enables research into the combined effects of grazing. The addition on the current studies will give a lot of new information about the animals making use of the same area, and their combined impact on the dune terrain.


Release of bison. Photo: Leo Linnartz