ALL NEWS

Wild bison will be released into the UK for the first time in thousands of years in hopes to revive wildlife

Jul 13, 2020, 6:08 AM

BAD BERLEBURG, GERMANY - MAY 05:  A herd of eight European bison graze in the Rothaargebirge mounta...

BAD BERLEBURG, GERMANY - MAY 05: A herd of eight European bison graze in the Rothaargebirge mountain range on May 5, 2014 near Bad Berleburg, Germany. The herd is a project of Wisent Welt Wittgenstein, a government-funded initiative which last year released the herd in an effort to restock the bison in the wild. European bison were once plentiful across Europe and Russia, though their numbers were decimated to near extinction by hunting and habitat encroachment. (Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)

(Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)

   (CNN) — About 10,000 years after the Steppe Bison went extinct, UK’s most important wildlife species are now also racing toward extinction.

Ancient Steppe bison once roamed the land which would later become England. Their presence significantly provided other animals and plants the healthy ecosystem they needed to thrive.

Now, the UK is looking to the Steppe bison’s closest relative to bring back the area’s ancient woodlands — the European bison.

The $1.4 million “Wilder Blean” project, funded by the People’s Postcode Lottery Dream fund, aims to release a small herd of European bison into the West Blean woods, near Canterbury in East Kent, during the spring of 2022.

The bison will come from the Netherlands or Poland, where previous releases have proved successful, and the initial release will include one male and three females, according to the Guardian. Natural breeding is expected to increase the size of the herd.

Describing European bison as “ecosystem engineers,” the Kent Wildlife Trust, one of the conservation organizations leading the project, said the species can “change woodlands in a way that no other animal can.”

“They eat bark and create dust baths which each have benefits for many plants and animals,” the trust added. “These are functions that have been missing from our UK woodlands for thousands of years and bringing them back can help restore an abundance of wildlife.”

The UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world, according to the World Wildlife Fund. More than one in seven native species face extinction and more than half are in decline.

“The Wilder Blean project will prove that a wilder, nature-based solution is the right one to tackling the climate and nature crisis we now face,” Paul Hadaway, director of conservation at Kent Wildlife Trust said in a statement. “Using missing keystone species like bison to restore natural processes to habitats is the key to creating bio-abundance in our landscape.”

Once the bison are settled into their fenced area, the public will be able to visit and watch the animals.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

All News

A pail rests next to caution tape on a beach in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Fla., on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2...

Associated Press

Young girl killed when a hole she dug in the sand collapsed on a Florida beach, authorities said

A young girl died Tuesday when a deep hole she was digging collapsed on her at a south Florida beach, authorities said.

1 hour ago

Sensitive material bill passes...

Tim Vandenack, KSL.com

Utah Senate, House reach compromise on ‘sensitive materials’ bill

The Senate gave the reworked "sensitive materials" measure the green light in a 19-8 vote on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024.

2 hours ago

K9 officers stand with police dogs next to a Life Flight Helicopter. A new program by Intermountain...

ALEX CABRERO

New Life Flight program will fly police dogs injured in the line of duty

A new program by Intermountain Health will allow for any police K-9 injured in the line of duty to be flown by Life Flight.

2 hours ago

A Gila monster is displayed at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Dec. 14, 2018....

MEAD GRUVER Associated Press

A Colorado man is dead after a pet Gila monster bite

A Colorado man has died after being bitten by his pet Gila monster in what would be a rare death if the creature's venom was the cause.

3 hours ago

Visitors stand at the closed gates leading to the Eiffel Tower, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 in Paris....

OLEG CETINIC Associated Press

Eiffel Tower operator warns the landmark is closed as strike turns visitors away for a second day

A strike at the Eiffel Tower over poor financial management turned away visitors on Tuesday for the second consecutive day.

11 hours ago

House fire in St. George. Initial investigations suggest it was accidental....

Derrick Jones

Family displaced after a fire in their St. George home

Emergency fire crews responded to a St. George fire after a passerby saw smoke from the garage of a home. 

12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Wild bison will be released into the UK for the first time in thousands of years in hopes to revive wildlife