Russian Journal of Biological Invasions

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 34–48 | Cite as

Introduction of the wood bison (Bison bison athabascae rhoads, 1897) in Central Yakutia

  • V. M. Safronov
  • R. N. Smetanin
  • V. V. Stepanova


In April 2006, 30 wood bison from the Elk Island National Park (Canada) were brought to Central Yakutia. The group comprised 15 females and 15 males; 27 of them were underyearlings and two females and one male were over 1 year old. The animals started reproducing at the age of 2–3 years. Six calves were born in 2008; seven, in 2009; and nine (one calf died), in 2010. In 2008, the herd grew by 23.1%; in 2009, by 26.9%; and in 2010, by 30.8%. A comparatively high reproduction rate demonstrates their normal naturalization. In summer, bison feed on pasture forage and are provided with hay, haylage, and mixed feed in winter. Currently, the wood bison are successfully adapting to new environmental conditions with a short summer, extended winter season, and extremely low air temperatures in winter as the major factors. Their total population increased to 47 individuals, including 26 adults (55.3%) and 21 calves (44.7%) with a male to female ratio of 24 (51.1%) to 23 (48.9%). An extended reproduction of the bison stock in animal nurseries will contribute to their further natural settling in wildlife. In March 2011, a new batch of bison comprising 30 calves born in 2010 was brought to Yakutia, elevating their total population there to 77 individuals.


wood bison introduction nursery grassland adaptation reproduction rut calving 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. About Bison, in Okhota i okhotnich’e khozyaistvo (Hunting and Hunting Farm), 1961, no. 4, pp. 61–62.Google Scholar
  2. Andreev, V.N., Belyaeva, N.V., Gelektionova, T.F., et al., Tebenevochnye pastbishcha severo-vostoka Yakutii (Snow-Covered Pastures of the Northeast of Yakutia), Yakutsk: Knizhn. Izd., 1974, 246 p.Google Scholar
  3. Axelrod D.I. Rise of the Grassland Biome, Central North America, Botanical Review, 1985, vol. 51, pp. 163–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baskin, L.M., Povedenie kopytnykh zhivotnykh (Behavior of Ungulate Animals), Moscow: Nauka, 1976, 295 p.Google Scholar
  5. Campbell, B.H. and Hinkes, M., Winter Diets and Habitat Use of Alaska Bison after Wildfire, Wildlife Society Bulletin, 1983, pp. 16–21.Google Scholar
  6. Bison (B. bison), in Zhizn’ zhivotnykh (Animal’s Life), Moscow: Prosveshch., 1971, pp. 551–553.Google Scholar
  7. Boeskorov, G.G., Time of Extinction of Mammoth Fauna in Yakutia, in Nazemnye pozvonochnye Yakutii: ekologiya, rasprostranenie, chislennost’ (Land Vertebrates of Yakutia: Ecology, Distribution and Number of Population), Labutin, Yu.V., Ed., Yakutsk, 2002. pp. 102–109.Google Scholar
  8. Carbyn, L.N., Some Aspects Regarding Wolf Predation on Bison in Wood Buffalo National Park, in International Symposium on Bison Ecology and Management in North America, Irby, L. and Knight, J., Eds., Montana State University, 1998, pp. 92–95.Google Scholar
  9. Colman, D., Roy Phillips Has a “Home” for Buffalo, Buffalo, 1978, pp. 6–14.Google Scholar
  10. Egorov, O.V., Perspectives of Acclimatization of Ungulate Animals in Yakutia, in Problemy okhrany prirody Yakutii (Problems of Nature Protection in Yakutia), Shcherbakova, I.P., Ed., Yakutsk: Knizh. Izd., 1963, pp. 99–106.Google Scholar
  11. Elk Island National Park of Canada Management Plan. Parks Canada, ON: National Ark Directorate Ottawa, 2005, 73 p.Google Scholar
  12. Flerov, K.K., Bison of the Northeastern Siberia, in Mamontovaya fauna i sreda ee obitaniya v antropogenene SSSR (Mammoth Fauna and Inhabitation Environment in Anthropogen of USSR), Leningrad: ZIN AN SSSR, 1977, pp. 39–56.Google Scholar
  13. Flerov, K.K. and Zabolotskii, M.A., The Reasons of Alteration of Areal of Bison, Byull. MOIP, 1961, vol. 66,issue 6, pp. 99–109.Google Scholar
  14. Fortin, D. Fryxell, J.M., and Pilote, R., The Temporal Scale of Foraging Decisions in Bison, Ecology, 2002, vol. 970, pp. 82–83.Google Scholar
  15. Fortin, D., Fryxell, J.M., O’Brodovich, L., et al., Foraging Ecology of Bison at the Landscape and Plant Community Levels: The Applicability of Energy Maximization Principles, Journal of Zoology, 2003, vol. 134, no. 2, pp. 2072–2078.Google Scholar
  16. Fuller, W.A., Behavior and Social Organization of the Wild Bison of the Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada, Arctic, 1960, vol. 13, pp. 2–19.Google Scholar
  17. Fuller, W.A., The Biology and Management of the Bison of Wood Buffalo National Park, Canadian Wildlife Service Wildlife Management Bulletin Series, 1966, vol. 1 (16), pp. 1–52.Google Scholar
  18. Green, W.C.H. and Rothstein, A., Trade-Offs between Growth and Reproduction in Female Bison, Oecologia, 1991, vol. 521, pp. 278–86.Google Scholar
  19. Halloran, A.F., Bison (Bofidae) Productivity on the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Oklachoma, Southwestern Naturalist, 1968, vol. 13, pp. 23–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Harper, W.L., Elliott, J.P., Hatter, I., et al., Management Plan for Wood Bison in British Columbia, in British Columbia Ministry of Environment. Lands and Parks, Victoria, 2000.Google Scholar
  21. Kirkpatrick, J.F., Gudermuth, D.F., Flagan, R.L., et al., Remote Monitoring of Ovulation and Pregnancy of Yellowstone Bison, Journal of Wildlife Management, 1993, vol. 407, pp. 12–57.Google Scholar
  22. Latter, N.C. and Gates, C.C., Diet and Habitat Selection of Wood Bison in Relation to Seasonal Change in Forage Quantity and Quality, Canadian Journal of Zoology, 1991, vol. 2677, pp. 69–85.Google Scholar
  23. Latter, N.C. and Gates, C.C., Home Ranges of Wood Bison in an Expanding Population, Journal Mammal., 1990, vol. 71, no. 4, pp. 604–607.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lazarev, P.A., Boeskorov, G.G., Tomskaya, A.A., et al., Mlekopitayushchie antropogena Yakutii (Mammalians of Anthropogen of Yakutia), Yakutsk: Knizhn. Izd., 1998, 167 p.Google Scholar
  25. McHugh, T., Social Behavior of the American Buffalo (Bison bison bison), Zoologica, 1958, vol. 43(1), pp. 1–40.Google Scholar
  26. Peden, D.G., Botanical Composition of Bison Diets on Shortgrass Plains, American Midland Naturalist, 1976, vol. 225, pp. 29–96.Google Scholar
  27. Peden, D.G., Van Dyne, G.M., Rice, R.W., et al., The Trophic Ecology of Bison bison L. on Shortgrass Plains, Journal of Applied Ecology, 1974, vol. 489, pp. 11–98.Google Scholar
  28. Reynolds, H.W., Bison Diets of Slave River Lowlands, Canada, M.S. Thesis, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, 1976.Google Scholar
  29. Reynolds, H.W., Gates, C.C., and Glaholt, R.D., Bison (Bison bison), in Wild Mammals of North America: Biology, Management, and Conservation, London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003, pp. 1009–1060.Google Scholar
  30. Reynolds, H.W. and Peden, D.G., Vegetation, Bison Diets, and Snow Cover, in Bison Ecology in Relation to Agricultural Development in the Slave River Lowlands, Canada: Canadian Wildlife Service, 1987, pp. 39–44.Google Scholar
  31. Rusanov, B.S., Iskopaemye bizony Yakutii (Fossil Bison in Yakutia), Yakutsk: Knizh. Izd., 1975, 145 p.Google Scholar
  32. Sablina, T.B., Evolyutsiya pishchevaritel’noi sistemy olenei (Evolution of Digestive System of Deers), Moscow: Nauka, 1970, 248 p.Google Scholar
  33. Safronov, V.M., Ekologiya i ispol’zovanie dikogo severnogo olenya v Yakutii (Ecology and Use of Wild Reindeer in Yakutia), Yakutsk: YaF GU Izd. SO RAN, 2005, 178 p.Google Scholar
  34. Shaw, J.H. and Carter, T.S., Calving Patterns Among American Bison, Journal of Wildlife Management, 1989, pp. 53–98.Google Scholar
  35. Strong, W.L. and Gates, C.C., Wood Bison Population Recovery and Forage Availability in Northwestern, Journal of Environmental Management, 2009, vol. 90, issue 1, pp. 434–440.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Tessaro, S.V., Forbes, L.B., and Turcotte, C., A Survey of Brucellosis and Tuberculosis in Bison in and around Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada, Canadian Veterinary Journal, 1990, pp. 31–80.Google Scholar
  37. Vereshchagin, N.K., Some Problems of History of Formation of Theriofauna, in Fauna i flora antropogena severovostoka Sibiri (Fauna and Flora of Anthropogen of the Northeastern Siberia), Leningrad: Nauka, 1977, pp. 6–17.Google Scholar
  38. Vuren Van, D., Summer diets of bison and cattle in southern, Utah. Journal of Range Management, 1984, pp. 37–61.Google Scholar
  39. Waggoner, V. and Hinkes, M., Summer and Fall Browse Utilization by an Alaskan Bison Herd, Journal of Wildlife Management, 1986, pp. 24–50.Google Scholar
  40. Wasser, C.H., Bison Induced Stresses in Colorado National Monument. Final Report, National Park Service Contract PX 120060617, 1977, pp. 28–36.Google Scholar
  41. Wilson, G., Olson, W., and Strobeck, C., Reproductive Success in Wood Bison (Bison bison athabascae) Established Using Molecular Techniques, Canadian Journal of Zoology, 2002, pp. 48–80.Google Scholar
  42. Wolff, J.O., Breeding Strategies, Mate Choice, and Reproductive Success in American Bison, Oikos, 1998, pp. 44–83.Google Scholar
  43. Zhizn’ Zivotnykh (Animal’s Life), Moscow: Izd. Prosveshchenie, 1971, 627 p.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. M. Safronov
    • 1
  • R. N. Smetanin
    • 1
  • V. V. Stepanova
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Biological Problems of Cryolithozone, Siberian BranchRussian Academy of SciencesYakutskRussia

Personalised recommendations