Wisents, horses, aurochs. Experts were gaining experience in the Netherlands

2013 - 05 - 31

For three tens of years there have been used large herbivores for cheap maintenance of blooming meadows and pastures in the Netherlands. That is why it was just in this country where there were gaining experience the experts from the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic who cooperate on the project of the large herbivores return with conservation organisation European Wildlife.

The experts had a unique opportunity to compare the results which are reached while maintaining the countryside by wisents and domestic cattle in national park Zuid-Kennaamerland in locality Kraansvlak. „There was a huge difference clearly seen both in the influence to the vegetation, and also at the physical condition and contentment of the animals. After this year´s extremely long winter the wisents were, even without people´s care, in an excellent condition, while the conventional domestic cattle was in a considerably pitiful state despite regular supplementary feeding,“ stated Miroslav Jirku from Biology Centre of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.

„On the lands where they have been using wild large herbivores to take care of the countryside for twenty to thirty years, we can find a varied mosaic of covers. The mosaic is indispensable for a lot of plant and animal species. In the Czech Republic similar covers have been disappearing for a long time and with them also a range of endangered species,“ added Martin Salek from the Institute of Zoology of Vertebrates of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.

Besides wisents on the sand dunes in Kraabsvalk in the suburbs of Haarlem, the experts also became familiar to the programme of back breeding of aurochs, an original wild cattle, at breeding station Taurus Foundation in Keent. In national park Veluwezoom they could see then the use of ponies in the taking care of moorlands, meadows and of open woods, as well.

The project on which organisation European Wildlife cooperates with its local partner organisation Czech Landscape and just with the experts from the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and the University of South Bohemia also counts with the use of original species of large herbivores for significantly cheaper countryside maintenance.

On the basis of experience from the Netherlands, but also from Germany, Spain, Great Britain and other countries, the most suitable animal breeds have been chosen for the Czech project. Besides a lowland line of European bison, it is the Exmoor pony, which is according to the latest research the most authentic living descendant of the European wild horse, and a back breeding aurochs from Taurus Foundation.


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