February 18, 2019

Bison females passed away

Last January two European bison females passed away. One of them was years ago born here and the other one was part of the first group of bison that came from Poland in 2007.

Since 2009 the bison herd of Kraansvlak grows under natural conditions. The herd is composed of animals from different ages, with animals that came from Poland in 2007 and 2008 and stablished the starting group of European bison in the Kraansvlak dunes. In the last ten years more than 30 calves have been born in the area. The herd has a natural structure with animals from different ages and genders. The animals that came first to Kraansvlak have taken care of the vast majority of the offspring.

The Dutch winter period is the most difficult period of the year for several animals species, also for large grazers such as European bison. Animals that are in a lesser condition face more difficulties through this period compared to the rest of the year when nutrient-rich food is easier available. Since the beginning in the bison project, we like to learn as much as possible from the experiences. Therefore, in consultation with the permanent wildlife veterinarian, one of the dead females was taken for post-mortem investigation. The results did not show malnutrition and no clear cause of death could be established. The bison herd has been extra monitored since the death of the cows and it is doing well. Konik horses and Scottish highlanders living in the same area are in excellent condition.

The recently deceased bison females have delivered in total nine calves in Kraansvlak. After the recent export of a group of European bison and the death of the females, the current herd consists of 16 animals.


Bison in Kraansvlak dune area. Photo: Ruud Maaskant