STATUS OF REINTRODUCTIONS OF THREE LARGE HERBIVORES IN RUSSIA

Taras P Sipko

Abstract


Reintroductions of muskoxen (Ovibus moschatus), European bison (Bison bonasus), and moose (Alces alces) have occurred recently in Russia. Although the process of capturing and moving muskoxen was problematic in remote areas, the reintroduction of animals from Canada and the USA successfully restored this extirpated species, and the current population in northern Russia serves as a source for further transplants. European bison populations were stagnant and suffered from inbreeding in Russia prior to reintroduction of captive animals from throughout Europe. The population in Orlovskoye Polesie National Park has experienced population growth with improved genetic potential. Of concern is that reintroductions in other areas of Russia were unsuccessful and the global population of European bison is not improving. Moose from the Penzhina River area in Russia were successfully reintroduced to the Kamchatka Peninsula where they were absent for >400 years. The population is growing and dispersing across the peninsula from the transplant sites, and is among the largest physically in Eurasia.

Keywords


Alces alces; Bison bonasus; population; reintroduction; restoration; Ovibus moschatus; Russia

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