October 19, 2016

Recognition for Dawn of the Bison

Dutch wildlife photographer Jasper Doest (37) made a great appearance in the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. With his picture “Dawn of the Bison’ he reached the finale in the mammal category. The picture shows the herd of European bison in Kraansvlak, part of National Park Zuid-Kennemerland. Jasper has been documenting European bison since they were reintroduced to the Netherlands in 2007. On this particular morning he found the herd cooling off at a lake amid a swarm of midges. "The first rays of sunlight started to emerge over the trees creating a beautiful visual show," he says.

Dawn of the Bison. Foto: Jasper Doest

Previously Doest received awards for his work on Japanese macaques, demoiselle cranes and Spanish storks, and is delighted that with the bison picture, Dutch nature is highlighted internationally. “The Netherlands is a pioneer in Europe when it comes to ‘rewilding’, which stands for more space for wildlife, wilderness and natural processes. In 2007, the largest mammal of Europe, the European bison was introduced in a Dutch nature area. Nowadays, 16 bison are roaming around in this area called Kraansvlak, and since this Spring bison are present in two other Dutch nature areas; Veluwe and Maashorst. This is something to be proud of”, says Doest who as a member of the International League of Conservation Photographers uses his photography to draw attention to the beauty and vulnerability of nature.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Wildlife Photographer of the Year is one of the most prestigious photo competitions in the world; it is a showcase of the best there is to offer when it comes to nature photography. The competition is organized by the Natural History Museum in London and BBC Wildlife Magazine. Nature photographers from all over the world compete in this competition. The winning images are displayed from October onwards at the Natural History Museum in London. Later, the images will be displayed also in the Netherlands.

Visit bison in Dutch nature

Bison were hunted to extinction in the wild in Europe in 1927. However, captive breeding and re-wilding projects have seen the population rise to over 5,000, with more than half living in wild herds. Bison – Europe’s largest land mammal – help to maintain a mosaic of ecologically rich forest and grassland. In the Netherlands, bison are present in three nature areas. In 2007 organisations ARK Nature, Duinbehoud, Kritisch Bosbeheer and PWN brought back bison to Dutch nature. This first Dutch herd lives in dune area Kraansvlak in National Park Zuid-Kennemerland. Since Spring 2016, bison are present in the nature area Maashorst in the Province of Brabant and at the Veluwe area in the centre of the Netherlands. There are several possibilities to see the bison. For possibilities to see the bison at Veluwe and Maashorst have a look at the project websites www.wisentopdeveluwe.nl and www.allemaalmaashorst.nl.


Dawn of the Bison. Foto: Jasper Doest