As our females imported from Poland in 2005 were barely over a year old, it was not until 2008 that we witnessed the first births. There were exactly 9 births ,for 11 three-year-old females, spread from late April to late June. A remarkable result.
To our great satisfaction, the European bison on the reserve quickly adapted to their new territories. During the first two years, they showed a clear predilection for the forest areas they deeply transformed.
Indeed, these brave animals favor the dissemination of seeds by transporting them on their coat and in their dung. In addition, these bristled bulldozers break the low branches and shrubs, and tear the bark of trees to the point of killing some.
They create gaps and even clearings in the forest, which promotes biodiversity. By penetrating again to the ground, the light allows the prosperity of many sun-loving species.
Thus in areas of our reserve where there were fewer than ten plant species, there are now more than thirty.
The clearings created by our bison also benefit other animal species. The red deer, the deer or the hare need these gaps for their biological balance. In turn, these animals stimulate plant biodiversity. On the Reservation of the Monts d’Azur, we note a renewed vigor of Scots pine and a sharp decline in the mortality rate of trees.
In less than three years after its arrival on the Reserve, the European bison has not only adapted perfectly to its new environment but has already significantly improved plant biodiversity.
The return of the lord of the forest, the European bison, is today a brilliant success.