It is revived to balance between life and death? About a belovezhsky bison of
When there is something improbable, outstanding, the surprised Belarusians say the phrase: “ It is necessary! In Bialowieza Forest, probably, the bison died … “. The premature demise of a rare European bison for the inhabitant of Belarus is so surprising that it is possible to compare it unless to inadequate behavior of cancer which whistles on the Russian mountain.
A bison, he is a country symbol, it is included in the Red List as an endangered species and is under such strengthened state guardianship that from his long-maned head and to a hair not to fall. At first sight.
I will remind that the destiny of forest European bisons is similar to much better known destiny of their fellows living on the dug-out open spaces of North America. However, history of methodical destruction of a belovezhsky look looks from outside … slightly more nobly. The shaggy American colossuses which are peacefully grazed on plains along a railway track immigrants from the Old World shot. Opened windows in trains and scorched on herds for fun.
Hunting for a belovezhsky bison, on the contrary, from time immemorial was considered as imperial business, worthy only notable persons. However, “ to fill up “ a giant bull the local shlyakhta went not for the sake of meat uniform too. The magnificent heads of trophy bisons served as decoration of hunting halls in palaces and a subject of special pride of notable persons.
Only present scope: for medieval hunting Radzivillov, for example, the whole army - two thousand princely infantrymen, two squadrons the uhlan, two hundred shooters was equipped in a campaign. And it apart from hunting suite (to eight hundred high-family of shlyakhtichy) and numerous support personnel - psary, lovchy, beaters. In the woods left not for one day and hunting, of course, was not limited to the one and only bison.
Business, however, not only in bloody “ hobby “ noble nobility. And not in the servile poaching from poverty prospering in the pansky woods. There were both other factors - both cutting down of trees, and drainage of bogs, and other, other, other. Everything is together united experts in the capacious concept “ reasons of anthropogenous character “. Anyway, the person brought to a side of a total disappearance of bisons.
By the beginning of the 19th century the European bisons remained only in Bialowieza Forest and in the Foothills of Caucasus (Caucasian “ mountain “ subspecies). In 1915 bisons in Bialowieza Forest was practically nothing - 785 heads. World War I completed business. To its termination the account of animals went not on hundreds any more, and on only a few units. The last European bison living free in Belovezhye was killed by the poacher in 1921. And four years later - the last bison of the Caucasian subspecies. Too poachers.
Nevertheless, bisons survived. In zoos of their world slightly more than fifty individuals remained. New counting of bizony time - in the beginning cultivation in open-air cages, then return to will also began with them - that. Bisons from the Russian imperial nursery became ancestors of a belovezhsky branch (the nursery, by the way, was in the territory of Belovezhya).
Experts of several European countries - Poland, Germany, Sweden at the same time were engaged in selection works. It is necessary to pay tribute, during World War II when military operations were conducted in the territory of Bialowieza Forest, did not forget about bisons. To damp a hunting ardor of the soldiers and officers, each of belligerent parties introduced the tough rule: for the killed animal - death.
As a result by the end of war in Poland 24 bisons, in Germany - 12 (for the beginning of their war was 30 and 35, respectively) remained. Work on preservation of the European bisons was continued. At this stage also scientists from the USSR were connected already. Today on the number of the bisons living at liberty first place is won by Germany, the second - Belarus. To 2007 - mu to year in reserves and national parks of their country there were 730 heads. Around the world - about three thousand.
Nevertheless, forecasts of experts are unfavourable: over a look the inbreeding damnation (closely related crossing) soars. Within three hundred years before full destruction population of belovezhsky bisons was too small and isolated. All recent bisons of the belovezhsky line occurred from only 5 escaped producers. The last, in turn, were born in nursery, but not at liberty. In other words, the gene pool of bisons of the belovezhsky line is grown seriously poor.
Only increase in the general population and an exchange " can help; fresh " blood; between subpopulations. In Belarus the situation is rather stable: subpopulations of bisons grow in national parks in recent years. However everything is not so iridescent as it seems at first sight. And that is why.
The optimum number for effective long-term survival of all population makes 500 adults (and capable to reproduction) individuals. And it is only part of population which consists of animal different age and degrees of puberty. So, experts add: in a case the number of effective long-term survival will begin to work with bisons when the size of the general population makes 1500 - 2000 heads.
Such conditions in Belarus are not provided yet. And not the fact that will be. On that is there are a lot of reasons (first of all - limitation of suitable places for dwelling of the European bisons). Besides, very dangerous world tendency to decrease in total number of bisons from - for low birth rate and too high mortality of animals is noted recently. Bisons still remain an endangered species.
What there was a boundless surprise of the Belarusian public when in the fall of 2007 - go the authorities officially declared hunting for a belovezhsky bison legal.
Photos from the official state website about Bialowieza Forest, from the website of public organization “ Bialowieza Forest 21st century “.