European wood bison

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A new study has warned that the ongoing war in Ukraine could act as a spanner in the works for efforts to save the last remnant of the megafauna European wood bison.

About European wood bison

  • It is also known as wisent.
  • European bison (Bison bonasus) are the largest and heaviest land mammals in Europe.
  • There were formerly three subspecies, although only one (Bison bonasus bonasus) remains – the other two are now extinct.
  • Habitat: Grassland, deciduous and mixed forests.
  • The wisent roamed across Europe in large herds at the end of the last ice age.
  • It was almost wiped out by 1927 from Europe.
  • It serves an important role as an ecosystem engineer, restoring grassland habitat.
  • Conservation status:
    • IUCN: Near Threatened
  • Threats: Rapid environmental change and hunting by humans were the main drivers of the wisent’s extirpation across Europe.
  • The scientists found that hunting caused range loss in the north and east of the wisent’s distribution, while land use change was responsible for losses in the west and south.

Q1)What is Deciduous forest?

Deciduous forest vegetation composed primarily of broad-leaved trees that shed all their leaves during one season. These forests are found in many areas worldwide and have distinctive ecosystems, understory growth, and soil dynamics.

Source: Wisent: Ukraine war could wreck efforts to save and rewild Europe’s great wild bovid, say new study authors