Albania is  relatively small country in Southern Europe – bordering Greece. Despite lying behind the iron curtain, like other countries in this area although predators survived, they are greatly depleted. There are 250 wolves within the borders, 1800-200 bears. Unfortunately, the Lynx in Albania is a subspecies called the Balkan Lynx, and there are only30-45 spread between Albania and North Macedonia.

Unfortunately, when you look at the size of the country, and the fact that 70% of it is covered by the Albanian Alps, you realize that here to the wildlife numbers are greatly depleted. The Dinirac Alps continue on from the Julian Alps which continue from the main alps range. Only the most northern part of Albania contains these mountains.

Albania does pay compensation for livestock killed, which should make this a country which is more open to ecotourism. Should an ecotourism industry grow bigger in this country, it would hopefully reduce both legal and illegal killing of these animals, and therefore allow the populations to rebound.

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What is clear, is that interest in the wolves and bears amongst tourists is likely to encourage ecotourism to become an industry in Albania. This country has suffered greatly over the last half a century or more, however, as a result many animals have survived alongside them – tourism will show them what this is worth.

Bison have not yet got any presence in the country.

Links to areas to visit will appear on this page

aaa Zhangjiajie sandstone peak forest reserve, China

Zhangjiajie sandstone peak forest reserve, China

This reserve covers a complex to trevane covered in ravines deep canyons and has a mild climate with abundant rainfall. As a result much of the area is covered by rainforest and there is a great deal of wildlife. It is a total of 1,400 square miles or 3,600 square kilometres.

Animals of particular interest include the leopard, the clouded leopard, the pygmy slow loris, the yellow belly pheasant, and long-tailed pheasant, the giant salamander, five step snake and many more. Others include the stump tailed macaque, the suman sheep, the pangolin, the black bear, the lynx, the otter, the forest musk deer, the samba deer, the jackal, the mandarin duck, the sparrow hawk and a few more.

Rare species include the bison, the wild goat, the wild boar, the wildcat, the civit cat, the flying squirrel and several more.

Wild Bison have returned to Blean – UK

Bison have been missing from the UK for at least 6000 years (some estimates suggest that the Bison disappeared 10,000-11,000 years ago).

Bison are a species that is strong enough to knock down trees, allowing them to shape wild ecosystems, in ways that few other species can do so.

Bison have returned to the UK. While they are currently in a large enclosure, they are likely to be released into woodland all over the UK in the next few decades.

Continue reading “Wild Bison have returned to Blean – UK”

Conservationists are looking to release a herd of European Bison into the UK, Blean woods near Canterbury – first in 6000 years

European Bison (or close relatives) were once an important part of the UK fauna, as the largest UK mammal, they had the strength to push down trees and therefore had an important role of ecosystem engineer.

The project is aimed at starting by reintroducing these animals into Blean woods near Canterbury. I have walked in Blean woods a number of times, as it is close to where my father works some of the year. Only a small herd will live in this wood (alongside iron age pigs, longhorn cattle and exmoor ponies) but these 4 species are likely to have a great deal of impact on the woodland.

For the time being, the Bison will live in a 150 hectare enclosure, with no footpaths, never the less the hope is that descendants of these pioneers could be released into truly wild parts of the UK.

Admittedly, the European Bison probably never lived in the UK, but the steppe bison an incredibly similar animal did.

A major part of the rangers job will be to take people on walks in the enclosure. This will help people get used to the idea. After all, there are currently no wild animals in the UK that weigh anywhere near the tonne that these animals would weigh.

These gentle giants would do wonders for the British ecosystem, and I for one look forwards to the time when seeing European Bison is like spotting highland ponies or wild horses in different parts of the country.

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