It turned out that the conversation about the Belarusian bison of the head of the republic with the head of affairs of the Belarusian president Yury Nazarov happened quite by accident. It turned out that recently there were so many bison that they began to harm local agricultural businesses. But just recently, these giants were on the brink of extinction.
- I offered to transport several bison to Bashkortostan to create a herd, – explained Radiy Faritovich. – For us it would be a great happiness. The bison is a true symbol of Belarus, its greatness. Therefore, such a joint project may well develop. Bashkortostan has a very rich flora and fauna, large forest plantations. We thought that the creation of a population was quite realistic. It would also be great if the first herd appeared for the next Forum of the Regions of Belarus and Russia in June 2023, which will be held in Ufa. It would also be very symbolic…
According to the plans, 18-20 bison will first be brought to Bashkiria. The amount of the project is unknown
Now a working group has been created in Bashkiria to welcome the Bialowieza bison to the republic. It included representatives of the Ministry of Nature Management and Ecology of the Republic of Belarus, the Academy of Sciences, the Department of Veterinary Medicine, the Rosselkhoznadzor… The next stage was the choice of options where the Belarusian giants could be placed. Several municipalities requested it at the same time. As a result, we decided on three options: two of them were offered by the company – in the geopark “Toratau” (located on the territory of four districts) and on a private hunting farm in the Sterlibashevsky district . The third point is the nature park “Gorge Muradymovskoe”, Iksky state reserve. Natural Resources and Ecology Minister Niyaz Fazylov called it the most successful.
Zoologist Sergei Gerasimov explained why the working group favors the third option: “Bison should live in deciduous forests, it suits their way of life. Such forests predominate in the proposed areas. There are many tourists in the Toratau Geopark, which is uncomfortable for the bison.”
By the way, according to the memoirs of Sergei Gerasimov, an attempt to introduce bison to Bashkiria was made in the late 1980s. The Minister of Forestry of the Bashkir Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic Marcel Abdulov brought three animals at Ufa Forest Park. Here, under his leadership, an aviary was organized. After perestroika, they were handed over to the city, but they did not pay due attention to the bison, and they died without giving offspring. At one time, the zoologist worked as the director of Gorzelenkhoz affairs and discovered a bison skull in the enclosure …
In early February, a whole group of Bashkir scientists visited Belarus to discuss in detail the details of importing bison into the republic. According to one of the members of the delegation, acting Head of the Ufa Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences Vasily Martynenko, this species of animals existed on the territory of Bashkiria more than 10,000 years ago.
– But, unfortunately, it was then exterminated by man. It was the head of Bashkiria, Radiy Faritovich Khabirov, who came up with the idea of reviving the population.
The initiator of the bison breeding project was the head of the region, Radiy Khabirov. Photo: Photo from the personal archive of Radiy Khabirov
Of course, given the experience of Belarus, I want to do the same. We were in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, we got acquainted with the issues of bison science, we saw them live. It’s incredibly interesting. I think we will succeed, animals will be able to adapt to new conditions, – said the scientist. Head of Department of Genetics and Chemistry of Bashkir State Pedagogical University Tatyana Sedykh shared the plans of the work to be done to implement the project.
– Now we are studying with our Belarusian colleagues how to select livestock, what research to conduct. Of course, we would like to carry out genetic certification of Bialowieza bison in order to distinguish them from other populations living in Russia, for example, the Caucasus. The area in the southern Urals, where it is planned to place bison, is a large forest area, few villages and agricultural land, so the place is suitable. Of course, we will closely monitor the animals. We will give top dressing so that they take root well and give healthy offspring, – said Tatyana Sedykh.
According to her, the bison will be quarantined in a pen the first year. When the animals take root and begin to multiply, they can be released back into the wild. Now Bashkir scientists hold consultations with the regions of Russia, where they breed bison. For example, with the Kaluga region, where the Belovezhskaya subspecies lives.
It is planned that 18-20 bison will first be brought to Bashkiria. The amount of the project, as well as the sources of financing, are not yet known. At a meeting in Minsk, the Bashkir side discussed technical aspects and conditions for the delivery of animals.
By the way, in Russia there is a “Strategy for the conservation of bison”, approved by the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation until 2030. The Central Russian population of these animals lives in the regions of ‘Orel, Kaluga, Briansk and Tula. In addition, bison groupings were created in the Vologda, Moscow and Smolensk regions, in Mordovia and in the North Caucasus (in North Ossetia – Alania and Karachay-Cherkessia).
p class=””>Bison is listed in the red books of 13 regions of the Russian Federation, as well as in Belarus. According to the latest data, there were 703 people in Belovezhskaya Pushcha at the beginning of 2022. Last year, 2023 bison lived in Russia, of which 968 belonged to the Central Russian population.
The Ik State Zoological Sanctuary is located in the eastern part of the Kugarchinsky district, in the interfluve of the Bolshoi and Maly Ik rivers. The natural complex of the reserve is represented by deciduous forests (lime forests, oak forests) associated with mountain steppes on the flat tops of the ridges (syrts). Flood meadows are developed in the river valleys. The vegetation is varied, the flora is rich. The animal world is also diverse – from species of animals typical of forest taiga to representatives of steppe fauna. A complex of hunting and commercial animal species (elk, wild boar, roe deer, bear, lynx, badger, marten, capercaillie, black grouse, hazel grouse, woodcock, etc.) is protected in the reserve. Some of the rare species of animals include golden eagle, imperial eagle, great spotted eagle, saker falcon, peregrine falcon, eagle owl, great gray owl, roller, gray shrike , etc.
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