Grzegorz Leśniewski / Wild Wonders of Europe


Project name:
Urgent actions for the recovery of European Bison populations in Romania

Coordinating beneficiary:

Rewilding Europe



Acronym: LIFE RE-Bison

Reference code:
LIFE14 NAT/NL/000987

Duration: 5 years.
Start date 01.01.2016.
End date 30.03.2021

Total budget: 1,816,991 euros
EU contribution: 1,362,735 euros

Life Natura2000

This Project is co-funded by the LIFE Programme of the European Union.

Recovery of the European bison

  • Bright future for the European Bison in the Southern Carpathians

    27. September 2021

    After almost 6 years, the project initiated by Rewilding Europe and WWF România to rewild the South-West Carpathians with European bison presents a series of exciting results: the largest free-roaming population of bison in Romania, examples of coexistence and ecotourism. The knowledge gained during the LIFE RE-Bison project is the foundation on which genetically viable …

  • Unique European bison transport just arrived in the Southern Carpathians, Romania

    30. June 2021

    The first relocation of its kind in Europe, with only male European bison, took place yesterday, June, 30th in the place known as the Bison Hillock, in the Southern Carpathians rewilding area of Romania. The 7 individuals arrived from Germany through the LIFE RE-Bison project and will contribute to the genetic diversity of the free-ranging …

  • New bison release to enhance genetic diversity in the Southern Carpathians

    14. May 2021

    A herd of 13 European bison has just arrived in the Southern Carpathians rewilding area in Romania and will soon be released into the wild. This will boost the genetic diversity of the population already roaming free here and ensure its beneficial impact continues to grow.  Healthy herds A herd of 13 female European bison …

  • GIS internship puts bison on the map

    19. April 2021

    Technology is playing an increasingly vital role in conservation. During his recent internship with Rewilding Europe, Rohan Wadhwa used geospatial data to gain valuable insight into the movement of European bison in the Southern Carpathians rewilding area in Romania. We caught up with him to find out more. The road to Rewilding Europe There aren’t …

  • Rewilding impact: new partnership to enhance monitoring across Europe

    24. March 2021

    The deployment of EarthRanger software across all of Rewilding Europe’s operational areas will allow rewilding teams to keep better track of wildlife, thereby enhancing rewilding outcomes.   Pivotal partnership Today, Rewilding Europe’s dedicated and pioneering rewilding teams are taking big steps forward in the field as they work to protect and restore wild nature. But …

  • European Bison, the foodies of the wild

    28. January 2021

    The way the largest terrestrial mammal in Europe feeds influences both other animal species, plants and humans. They have been dubbed landscape architects and natural firefighters because they perform essential functions of protecting and growing biodiversity in a vast area of ​​forests and meadows. Together we can get to know the European bison better and …

  • The European bison is no longer a vulnerable species

    16. December 2020

    Wonderful news in the midst of a challenging and tumultuous year – European bison are no longer considered a vulnerable species due to the conservation work that takes place in Europe, Romania being among the few countries with bison roaming in the wild. The result of the long-term conservation of the European bison species (Bison …

  • Legendary bison return from the brink

    27. November 2020

    The bison, a revered and respected animal in the history of Romania holds it’s ground in front of any predator, but is vulnerable to humans. The species present in Europe for tens of thousands of years is always in danger of diminishing its population if we do not act to protect it, and thus maintain …

  • The steps to freedom for the Southern Carpathian bison

    23. September 2020

    The gates of the acclimatization enclosure were opened last week for the 8 bison which arrived in July in the Bison Hillock. The two males and six females which were brought from five reserves in Germany (Wisentgehege Springe, Wisentgehege Donaumoos, Nationalpark Kellerwald-Edersee, Nationalparkverwaltung Bayerischer Wald and Wisentgehege Hardehausen) will now have 160 hectars of disiduos forests and meadows to explore …

  • Return of the titans

    28. August 2020

    The story of how wild animals are returning across Europe, spontaneously or with human help, will soon captivate millions of television viewers around the world. The new six-part documentary series called “Europe’s New Wild” will begin a global rollout in early September. Bison are part of this amazing transformation.    Dramatic debut “Europe’s New Wild”, …

  • Romania’s largest free-roaming bison population boosted by eight more animals

    23. July 2020

    A herd of eight European bison has just arrived in the Southern Carpathians rewilding area and will soon join the 57 bison that are already roaming free here. As a keystone species, the animals are part of the rewilding initiative here and are benefitting local communities.    Record-breaking rewilding A herd of eight European bison …

  • New life, wild life in the Southern Carpathians

    29. May 2020

      The first bison calve has been spotted this year by rangers in the Bison Hillock.  The success of a rewilding programme stands in many factors, but one of the key ones is having new life being born in the wild. At least 20 calves have been born in the wild in the Southern Carpathians …

  • Bison and biodiversity in the Tarcu Mountains Natura 2000 site

    21. May 2020

    Nature conservation through the recovery of the European bison in the Southern Carpathians lies at the foundation of the Life Bison project. By reintroducing this keystone species which disappeared due to excessive hunting and loss of habitat over 200 years ago we ensure not only the increase in numbers of the population of a vulnerable …

  • Bison Hillock updates during the pandemic

    11. May 2020

    What is going on in the Bison Hillock during these troubled times when countries are in lock down, bison transports are postponed and ecotourism is affected? Matei Miculescu, one of the bison rangers offers an update from a beautiful spring landscape which hopefully will brighten your day and entice you to come visit this wilderness …

  • Tracking technology enhances bison rewilding in the Southern Carpathians

    2. April 2020

    Five bison reintroduced into the Southern Carpathians rewilding area in Romania in 2019 were fitted with GPS collars. This technology is helping the local rewilding team to promote coexistence and make more informed decisions. Transformative tech European bison can roam up to 15 kilometres a day as they look to satisfy their hefty appetites. Reintroducing …

  • New animation promotes human-bison coexistence in the Southern Carpathians

    27. January 2020

    The short video, which is being shown to both residents and visitors in the Southern Carpathians rewilding area in Romania, educates people how to behave when they encounter a European bison. It is one of a range of measures employed by the local rewilding team to promote harmonious human-bison relations.     Keeping the peace …

  • Rangers to the rescue: trapped bison calf released in the Țarcu Mountains

    9. January 2020

    For the rangers in the Țarcu Mountains the new year began with some excitement  when they discovered a young bison trapped in some wire near the village of Rusca – this was probably left by a poacher. Born to parents reintroduced to the area through the LIFE Bison project, the calf was less than a …

  • New documentary tells the story of people and bison in the Southern Carpathians

    22. November 2019

    Rewilding Europe and WWF Romania have been reintroducing bison in the Southern Carpathians of Romania since 2014. Shot by French filmmaker Emmanuel Rondeau, “Zimbrul” is an intimate snapshot of people’s feelings about the return of this iconic species. A story of acceptance A beautiful new documentary has just been released showing the reintroduction of the …

  • Another sucessful bison transport in the Southern Carpathians

    24. September 2019

    Another successful bison transport took place last week when 4 female bison arrived safely in the Țarcu Mountains, in the vicinity of Armeniș commune, where they will  join more than 50 free-roaming bison in the Southern Carpathians.     The animals come from two locations, three from the Donaumoos Bison Reservation and one from the …

  • 7 new bison call the Southern Carpathians home

    21. June 2019

    The reintroduction of another European bison herd in the Southern Carpathians rewilding area continues efforts to establish a viable, free-roaming population of this keystone species. This will further increase the benefits to both wild nature and local communities.       Milestone moment WWF Romania and Rewilding Europe are delighted to announce the arrival of a new herd …

  • Big ideas: Southern Carpathians workshop strengthens bison-community bond

    31. May 2019

    At the beginning of May a group of social entrepreneurship professors and students met with community representatives in the Southern Carpathians rewilding area. The ideas they brainstormed will further the development of local nature-based business and reinforce the connection between people and reintroduced bison.  Creative collaboration In the Southern Carpathians rewilding area, where Rewilding Europe …

  • Next generation: rewilding inspires young naturalists in the Southern Carpathians

    23. April 2019

    Romanian schoolchildren in both of Rewilding Europe’s Southern Carpathians rewilding areas recently celebrated Earth Hour and International Bird Day. Strengthening their bond with local populations of birds and reintroduced bison, this further kindled their love for wild nature.   Making the connection As Europeans we are blessed to be surrounded by some of the most …

  • Bison Hillock Taskforce provides invaluable support for Southern Carpathians rewilding

    25. February 2019

    Taskforce activities, which in 2018 included data collection, website and app development, educational initiatives and community outreach, helped bolster the success of the area’s ongoing bison reintroduction programme.   The Taskforce is a research programme launched in 2016 with the support of the Swiss-Romanian Partnership (and now maintained annually through the WWF International Volunteering Programme). …

  • Southern Carpathians rewilding team keeps human-bison relations harmonious

    11. February 2019

    Until they become acclimatised to fully wild conditions, bison reintroduced into the Southern Carpathians of Romania may be tempted to approach farms and villages looking for food, especially during periods of harsh weather. The local rewilding team monitors the bison – and provides villagers with guidance and information – to ensure both animals and people …

  • Bison school club programme continues into second year in the Southern Carpathians

    23. January 2019

    The second year of the inspirational programme began with workshops held in the rewilding area, introducing Romanian elementary school students to project development and wild nature. Next generation nature Rewilding Europe is committed to connecting younger generations with wild nature, so it is heartening to see a growing number of European children and young adults …

  • Hiking and biking in the Southern Carpathians

    17. December 2018

    This autumn, WWF Taskforce member Bianca Ștefănuț was part of a team helping to develop nature-based tourism in the Southern Carpathians rewilding area. Here she relates her memorable experience. The region of the Southern Carpathians that came to be known as the Bison Hillock with the rewilding initiative of Rewilding Europe, WWF-Romania and the local …

  • Bison exhibition features at the Bucharest Photo Festival

    4. December 2018

    Impactful imagery and powerful presentations captivate new audiences with the story of bison rewilding in the Southern Carpathians. The focus of this year’s festival was nature photography. The bison exhibition added a touch of novelty, with its story of the reintroduction of a once near-extinct species with deep historical roots in Romanian culture. Titled “The …

  • Wild European bison roam Romania’s Poiana Ruscă Mountains for the first time in 200 years

    27. September 2018

    The release of European bison into the wild in both Southern Carpathian rewilding areas represents another milestone in the comeback of this magnificent and ecologically important animal.   Rewilding Europe and WWF Romania are delighted to announce that a group of 14 European bison are now wandering free in the Poiana Ruscă Mountains of southwest …

  • “You can change a lot of things by doing small things”

    31. August 2018

    One year after the completion of the wildlife and landscape observatory in Armenis, the first bison rewilding site in the south-west of Romania, we take a look back at this amazing experience with photos from behind the scenes and an interview with the architects who coordinated the design&build camp. Text by Mara Cazacu Minculescu, WWF-Romania …

  • New bison calves born in the Southern Carpathians

    20. August 2018

    Born into herds in both the Armeniș and Poiana Ruscă rewilding areas, the four healthy calves show significant progress is being made in establishing a fully wild, viable bison population in this part of Romania. Rewilding Europe and WWF Romania are thrilled to announce the birth of four new bison calves in the Southern Carpathians …

  • The power rangers of Poiana Ruscă

    31. July 2018

    As rangers at the second European bison reintroduction site in the Southern Carpathians rewilding area, the efforts of Marius Gârdean and Roland Hauptman are vital to the success of the project. On the occasion of World Ranger Day, we caught up with them to thank them for their ongoing support, and to learn more about …

  • Largest ever bison reintroduction in Southern Carpathians boosts population by 23 animals

    18. May 2018

    Rewilding Europe and WWF Romania are delighted to announce the successful reintroduction of 23 European bison at two sites in the Southern Carpathian mountains of Romania. The animals, which were sourced from nine European nature reserves and zoos, have been released over the course of several weeks. Ongoing rewilding efforts involving bison began in the Southern Carpathians in 2014. This reintroduction - the largest ever in the Carpathians - significantly advances the comeback of this magnificent species and takes the local population up to 53.  Around 30 of these animals are now freely roaming in the wild, with the recently released bison kept in enclosures until their full release later this year.

  • Technology helps co-existence in the Southern Carpathians

    16. March 2018

    A four-day digital workshop held last December in the Southern Carpathians rewilding area saw participants brainstorm new ways to mitigate human-bison conflict.  Digital technology and wild nature frequently seem worlds apart. But in the Southern Carpathians rewilding area technological innovation is now generating solutions to rewilding-related problems, ensuring that humans and bison can peacefully co-exist. …

  • New education programme launched in the Southern Carpathians

    30. November 2017

    The two-year programme will encourage more young Romanians to become involved in wild nature and forms part of a vision to use reintroduced bison as an engine for driving local development.     An ambitious education programme recently launched in an area of the Southern Carpathians in Romania aims to involve youngsters in the conservation …

  • Romanian bison photo exhibition takes reintroduction to the people

    30. October 2017

    The exhibition, which will continue until 2021, depicts the ongoing bison reintroduction in the Southern Carpathians by Rewilding Europe and WWF Romania, with a special focus on reaching out to the younger generation.        They say a picture tells a thousand words. This autumn a visually stunning Romanian photographic exhibition presented the full story of Rewilding …

  • Bison Hillock gets new wildlife observatory

    1. September 2017

    Multi-day collaborative workshop in the Southern Carpathians sees construction of beautifully designed building for wildlife viewing and related events.  Visitors to the Bison Hillock in Rewilding Europe’s Southern Carpathians rewilding area can now enjoy a new, state-of-the art wildlife observatory. Constructed during a 10-day on location “workshop” in August, the striking wooden structure boasts a …

  • Bison herd in the Southern Carpathians welcomes three new members

    18. August 2017

    This year’s birth of three bison calves bodes well for the successful reintroduction of this majestic herbivore. Rewilding Europe and its partners are delighted to announce that the bison herd in the Southern Carpathians has this year increased by three. The discovery of the bison calves, following four consecutive years of bison reintroductions, was greeted …

  • New bison boost in the Southern Carpathians

    28. April 2017

    The spectacular sight of Europe’s largest land animal running wild  is set to become more common in Romania’s Țarcu Mountains. After a long journey from the Avesta Reserve in Sweden, a group of nine European bison arrived at Rewilding Europe’s Southern Carpathians rewilding area on April 22 and 23. The group will eventually join free-roaming …

  • LIFE Bison Project presented in Bucharest, Romania

    1. November 2016

    Last Friday, the LIFE project “Urgent actions for the recovery of European Bison populations in Romania” (LIFE Bison) held its opening ceremony at the “Grigore Antipa” Natural History Museum in Bucharest, Romania. The project works to build a viable population of the European bison in the Tarçu Mountains Natura 2000 site in the Southern Carpathians. …

  • Fresh camera trap images from Bison Hillock

    16. September 2016

    The reintroduction of bison in the Romanian Țarcu Mountains, which began in 2012 with a partnership between WWF-Romania and Rewilding Europe, is running at full speed, with 20 individuals already roaming freely 200 years after their disappearance from these lands. Through the LIFE Bison project funded by the EU, we aim at creating a viable …

  • Holograms explaining the bison behaviour and impact on nature in Romania

    24. August 2016

    The Bison Visitor Centre in Armeniș, Țarcu Mountains, Romania, is now presenting scientific data about the bison in a playful and immersive way. It has the biggest holographic projection in Europe with two more installations that were built at the crossroads between art and technology. The data feed, animating the installations, is being continuously collected …

  • Third bison release in the Southern Carpathians, Romania

    13. June 2016

    This Saturday, after 3000 km of travelling, ten more European bison originating from Belgian and German zoos and wildlife centres arrived at the Țarcu Mountains in the southern part of Romania. This group joined the herds Rewilding Europe and WWF Romania released here in 2014 and 2015, making one more step towards creating a viable wild bison …

  • Southern Carpathians combining rewilding and technology

    24. March 2016

    This year a new project started in the Southern Carpathians called “Wilderness Innovation Lab”, co-financed by a grant from the Swiss Contribution to the enlarged EU. The aim of the project is to help tell the story of bison reintroductions in real time through multimedia installations in the Southern Carpathians Visitor Centre. The centre is …

  • LIFE Bison and LIFE Vultures projects kicked-off

    19. February 2016

    A major gathering of nature conservation organisations took place this week in Haskovo, Bulgaria. Members from Rewilding Europe, Rewilding Rhodopes, Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds/Birdlife Bulgaria, WWF Romania, WWF Greece, Vulture Conservation Foundation and Hellenic Ornithological Society/BirdLife Greece gathered for the kick-off meetings and training sessions of two LIFE funded projects that officially …