First bison for 400 years roam freely in Germany

For the first time in 400 years, free roaming bison have been reintroduced to Germany.For the first time in 400 years, free roaming bison have been reintroduced to Germany.

A small group of bison has been released, in April 2013, into a 10,000 hectare forest in the Rothaar Mountains of North Rhine Westphalia.

One of the cows has since given birth to a male calf, and it is hoped the herd will grow to around 25 animals.

This release follows a long period of behavioural study, and assessment of the role of bison in the ecosystem as well as their impact on the forest itself. As a large herbivore they fill an important niche and help maintain a mosaic of different habitats - forest intermingled with shrub and grassland - that can support a more varied biodiversity.

Plans were recently proposed by the Rewilding Europe programme to reintroduce bison into the Southern Carpathians

Read more: First wild born bison in Germany for 400 years