The bison is once again roaming Romania’s Carpathian Mountains after being absent for 200 years. It's all thanks, of course, to long-term conservation work.
About a century ago, the last wild bison in Europe was shot by poachers. So, it's good news that they have made a comeback in Romania - a critical step towards keeping the species off the critically endangered species list has been taken.
“There was an urgent need to once again give the bison the chance to live in the wilderness and to mix the genes of those bison from captivity,” says Matei Miculescu, who works for the Bison Reintroduction Project established by the WWF and Rewilding Europe.
Euronews reports that in recent years, the bison have been lured further into the forest by abundant vegetation, thus enabling them to extend their natural habitat.
More than 200 years after the bison was last seen in Romania, the Bison Reintroduction Project has successfully introduced over 100 bison - and they are now roaming free in the mountains. Since 2014, 38 bison calves have been born in the region. The number gives a reason for optimism for the species future survival. The goal is to achieve a population of 250 individuals in five years' time.
Experts believe that reintroducing the bison can benefit around 600 other species and contribute to the wellbeing of the wider ecosystem, from carnivores to tiny microorganisms.