Joanna Tusznio, from the Institute of Environmental Sciences, Jagiellonian University, Poland; will be speaking about the role of European Bison to local communities in Poland. She will present her research on the different effects that restoration activities can have on local people.
Joanna will touch on the history of European bison (Bison bonasus) – the largest terrestrial European mammal. Which is one of the most amazing and successful stories of saving a species that was literally facing the extinction.
Currently, about a quarter of the world’s bison population live in Poland. Mainly in free ranging herds in five different regions of the country. The presence of bison has or is currently becoming a regular part of everyday life for local residents, farmers and foresters etc. These people do not necessarily admire the heroic efforts of saving European bison, or even have knowledge about this process. However they are at the interface of potential conflicts with bison, and are also in a position where they can benefit from the presence of bison.
Joanna will therefore present the challenges of managing free ranging bison in various social contexts. Differences in peoples understanding of what constitutes “wildness” of bison (when can we call bison a ‘wild’ animal?), in the context of people who inhabit close to the free ranging herds and experts.
To see Joanna’s presentation, hear more about the social context and wildness of bison, register for the Wilderness Academy Days here.