Plains bison from Denmark: A Yamal park boasts new inhabitants
Ingilor Nature Park has become home to 12 plains bison that were specially brought from Denmark. The animals travelled a distance of 8,000 kilometers from home.
Acquired in a Danish animal nursery, the plains bison were transported to Yamal in road freight vehicles. The new Ingilor dwellers were lodged in the area around the Nyarovei-Khadata ranger station. After an one-month quarantine the animals will be released into enclosures. Park employees are keeping a close eye on the condition of these animals.
They were brought to the Polar Urals by participants in the Pleistocene Park environmental project from Yakutia. Last May, the leaders of this organization approached the Department of Natural Resources and Environment of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area with a proposal for the following exchange: Ingilor Nature Park would send 14 musk buffalo to Yakutia while the Pleistocene Park was to buy four male and eight female plains bison for Yamal. The Pleistocene Park non-profit organization undertook to cover all expenses involved in this exchange.
“The proximity of the habitats of the plains bison and musk buffalo is expected to attract more tourists to this protected nature area in the Arctic and will also help bring to life the idea of creating an interactive site for people to get acquainted with and watch animals which lived in the late Pleistocene Epoch, a period when, along with plains bison and musk buffalo, the tundra-steppe was inhabited by mammoths, the woolly rhinoceros and other representatives of megafauna,” the Yamal Government website reports.
The nature park occupies an area of over 900,000 hectares and is believed to be the world’s largest. Currently, over 100 muskoxen are living in the park.
The Pleistocene Park is a research project. On the initiative of Yakut scientist Sergei Zimov, an experiment is being carried out in the Kolyma River valley to recreate mammoth steppes which were highly productive pastures as they could feed a large number of herbivorous animals. Specially for this purpose, the park is being colonized with fauna species which inhabited the Arctic earlier or can live in today’s northern climate. The initiators of the project believe that the revival of the late Pleistocene ecosystems will help slow down the ongoing processes related to climate change.