Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Ukraine's European Bison Threatened to Extinction

European bison

Many say that when they think of the word 'bison,' it is the so-called "American buffalo" which once numbered in millions throughout North America and later dwindled due to a fierce competition by the Native Americans and early settlers. However, half way across the world in Europe, there is another species of bison that suffered the same fate as its western cousin: the European bison. At one point, it had been labeled as "extinct in the wild" but later recovered thanks to captive breeding and reintroduction into Poland's forests.

While Poland's bison population is currently stable, Ukraine's population is a completely different story. It has been found that although they are an endangered species, people still continue to hunt them. In addition to bullets, the animals are also threatened by disease and food shortage. Even more worse is that Ukraine has not been receiving enough funding from its government, which resulted in forest officials not wanting to keep the animals and that money was needed for their food. Therefore, the bison have been forced to raid crops bringing them vulnerable to danger from angry farmers.

I feel that Ukraine is in a great need of help regarding its bison population. I think one way it might help is if the nation could collaborate with Poland and other central European countries known to house bison in their forests. That way, they will be able to come up with solutions to save Ukraine's bison population from the brink of extinction.

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