THE World Wildlife Fund (WWF), has approached Aragon, Castilla y Leon, La Rioja, Navarra and the Basque Country for collaboration and urgent action by increasing forces to halt the ‘imminent extinction’ of the European Bison.
The NGO wants these regions to support the campaign #MenosDe500 to signify only 500 European Bison remain in Spain.
Aragon has an estimated population of 34 European Bison limited to the rivers in the North East. Castilla y Leon is host to a reduced population, in a few rivers north west of the Burgos province and the northern edge of Soria.
La Rioja enjoys a large and widely distributed population and despite being the smallest autonomous region it is very important for European Bison protection, given its geographic position and the wide expanse of favourable habitats.
Navarra has the highest density of the European Bison population in the world and represents a third of the total population on the Iberian Peninsula where some 350 bison survive – here the monitoring of invading species has just started.
The WWF considers the Basque Country an area of grand importance for the European Bison, given since the 90s its territory bordered Navarra and La Rioja to create one of the largest breeding grounds on the Iberian Peninsula. However, the Basque Country has seen a recent population drop with only a few examples in the provinces of Vizcaya, Guipúzcoa and Avila where remaining numbers are isolated.
It has been requested that The Ministry for Agriculture, Fishing, Alimentation and the Environment urgently declare the European Bison a highly endangered species.
In a letter sent to the Regional Governments the WWF alert to the dramatic situation of this small carnivore, with a population loss of 90% in their original worldwide distribution area
If urgent measures are not taken, the European Bison will face total extinction in Spain within five years.