Bi­son in­tro­duced to wood­land in project to help re­store wildlife

Western Daily Press - - Uk&world News -

BI­SON are be­ing in­tro­duced to a Bri­tish wood­land in a project to re­store an an­cient habi­tat and its wildlife, con­ser­va­tion­ists have said.

The move is part of a £1 mil­lion project led by Kent Wildlife Trust and the Wild­wood Trust to help man­age Blean Woods near Can­ter­bury, Kent. Euro­pean bi­son, the con­ti­nent’s largest land mam­mal, are the clos­est liv­ing rel­a­tive to an­cient steppe bi­son that would have once roamed Bri­tain and nat­u­rally man­aged the habi­tat, con­ser­va­tion­ists said.

A closely-knit herd of four Euro­pean bi­son will be in­tro­duced into a fenced en­clo­sure away from pub­lic foot­paths, in what is the first time the an­i­mals have been in­tro­duced to a na­ture re­serve to help wildlife in the UK. They will be within a wider 500 hectare (1,200-acre) area which will also use other graz­ing an­i­mals to cre­ate var­ied and healthy habi­tat. De­spite their size, with adult males weigh­ing up to a tonne, bi­son are peace­ful, and no other species can per­form the job of engi­neer­ing the habi­tat in quite the same way.

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