Irina Belousova and Zdzislaw Pucek
This review of the European bison’s (Bison bonasus) status clearly indicates that, through proper management and conservation, its present numbers and distribution have improved significantly since its extinction in the wild at the beginning of the 20th century. The Action Plan briefly summarizes the history of extinction in the wild and present status of the European bison, as well as the reasons of extinction. The ecology of the species has been reviewed and threats, including recent diseases, are described. The Action Plan also puts forward future goals in conservation and management of European bison. These include recommendations for captive breeding and reintroduction to natural ecosystems, and the propagation of captive animals with known pedigrees for the preservation of the species and to maintain its genetic purity.