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Bison coming to Kent (Merged Thread) (1 Viewer)

jurek

Well-known member
Good idea! Wild bison are now culled in Poland, because foresters don't accept their higher density. Projects like these could save some of them.

The area where the bison would live could also be crossed by public walking and cycling roads with no constant supervision. An example are the walk-through bison paddock in zoo Lelystad and the reserve Kraansvlak in the Netherlands.
https://www.zoochat.com/community/media/wisents.325659/

The chance of seeing bison in the 190 ha forest would be close to zero anyway. However, it would help tame the English public to the idea of living near to wildlife.
 

Sandy73

Well-known member
Bison coming to Kent

Afternoon all.

The Kent Wildlife Trust and Wildwood Trust have been awarded £1.125m to, amongst other things, introduce 4 Bison into part of the Blean forest around Canterbury as ecosystem engineers

So this is generating a lot of discussion on Twitter about whether this a PR exercise or will have wider benefits.

Regards
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Afternoon all.

The Kent Wildlife Trust and Wildwood Trust have been awarded £1.125m to, amongst other things, introduce 4 Bison into part of the Blean forest around Canterbury as ecosystem engineers

So this is generating a lot of discussion on Twitter about whether this a PR exercise or will have wider benefits.

Regards

This is not by any feat of imagination an introduction, any more than buying a new dog would "introduce" Canis familiaris to Houseman Road, Farnborough. It's putting a small number of funny-shaped cows in a field.

Introductions and reintroductions (are they not claiming this is the latter?) require an absence of fences, or, bearing in mind the oft-repeated African comment that the difference between a zoo and a national park is how far apart the fences are, a field a heck of a lot bigger with nothing worse than a cattle grid and a stile controlling public access to the area.

John
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
There are a lot more than four in the Scottish Wildlife Park at Kingussie but I wouldn't tick them either. Take the fences away and I'll think about it. I can't see what the fuss is about that requires fencing them in, anyway: they roam wild in Poland and the American version is common in Yellowstone with the public wandering among them in vehicles and on foot. But this news is not an introduction by any standard I'm aware of, there's no suggestion that the end-state is unfenced Bison in Kent: it's a joke.

John
 

Sandy73

Well-known member
This is not by any feat of imagination an introduction, any more than buying a new dog would "introduce" Canis familiaris to Houseman Road, Farnborough. It's putting a small number of funny-shaped cows in a field.

Introductions and reintroductions (are they not claiming this is the latter?) require an absence of fences, or, bearing in mind the oft-repeated African comment that the difference between a zoo and a national park is how far apart the fences are, a field a heck of a lot bigger with nothing worse than a cattle grid and a stile controlling public access to the area.

John

Perhaps introduce was a poor choice of wording. I wasn’t saying the animals were to become part of an introduction program.

It will be interesting to see what impact they will have. The beavers at the KWT Ham Fen seem to be doing a good job of helping to revert fields back into fen.
 

Steve Babbs

Well-known member
I think the merging of the threads has confused things a bit. I apologise for not noticing that there was already a thread on this.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Perhaps introduce was a poor choice of wording. I wasn’t saying the animals were to become part of an introduction program.

It will be interesting to see what impact they will have. The beavers at the KWT Ham Fen seem to be doing a good job of helping to revert fields back into fen.

But we know the impact they will have. They are being put there because their effects on vegetation and landscape are already known (as are the effects of European Beavers). The media articles tell us clearly what duties the Bison will be expected to fulfill.

The question is why they are being fenced in and, if they are going to be kept fenced in, why straightforward lies are being told about the project to the media, with headlines like "Bison return to Britain after 6,000 Years". Bison are already in Britain, at Kingussie if nowhere else, and they aren't being released any more than these will be.

The KWT Beaver project has been running how long? What has it proved? Where is it going? What is its intended end-state? Aren't there Beavers already in the wild in England and Scotland in addition to "projects" at Knapdale, in Cornwall and in Devon? Why not take the fences away and let the Stour Beavers get on with it properly, like the Tayside and Otter Beavers, instead of harnessing them to tiny confined human projects as if they were pig-tailed macaques picking coconuts? In what way is Beaver or Bison slavery acceptable?

What is all this faffing with pretending to introduce animals? Why not either do it for real or stop fooling about with non-starter headline-grabbers?

John
 

PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
John,

If the end result is primarily an increase in butterfly species and numbers, a stable population of breeding nightingales and perhaps a safe summer refuge for a few turtle doves, then that surely has to be a positive action, together with an opportunity to monitor progress and learn for the future. I appreciate that some might view this as another well publicised gimmick but we have many instances of "unfamiliar" grazing animals that have been used as a means of natural management, of particular habitats to return or keep them as rich and diverse as they one were. I'm thinking of "flying flocks" in Norfolk such as Konik ponies, Hebridean sheep and I think a type of old fashioned pig similar to Tamworths was trialled in a private wood.

I agree that some reintroductions may be seen as questionable ( eg, WTE on the I.O.W. after North Norfolk fell through a few years back, and Black Storks somewhere ) but why not give it a go. Yes, the continued loss of critical ancient habitat continues unabated but what is there to lose with this scheme?

Regards.
 

John Cantelo

Well-known member
The KWT Beaver project has been running how long? What has it proved? Where is it going? What is its intended end-state? Aren't there Beavers already in the wild in England and Scotland in addition to "projects" at Knapdale, in Cornwall and in Devon? Why not take the fences away and let the Stour Beavers get on with it properly, like the Tayside and Otter Beavers, instead of harnessing them to tiny confined human projects as if they were pig-tailed macaques picking coconuts? In what way is Beaver or Bison slavery acceptable?
John

Beavers seem to be doing fairly well outside the enclosures in Kent since there are plenty of signs of their presence between Canterbury & Grove Ferry and elsewhere.
 

PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
Beavers seem to be doing fairly well outside the enclosures in Kent since there are plenty of signs of their presence between Canterbury & Grove Ferry and elsewhere.

Not so well North of the Border. I recently read somewhere that about 200 had been shot since their reintroduction/wilding/lease. But let's stay positive, Polecats regularly spotted within 5 miles of me and a new badger sett probably as a result of lockdown and an overgrown footpath.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
John,

If the end result is primarily an increase in butterfly species and numbers, a stable population of breeding nightingales and perhaps a safe summer refuge for a few turtle doves, then that surely has to be a positive action, together with an opportunity to monitor progress and learn for the future. I appreciate that some might view this as another well publicised gimmick but we have many instances of "unfamiliar" grazing animals that have been used as a means of natural management, as Deb highlighted, of particular habitats to return or keep them as rich and diverse as they one were. I'm thinking of "flying flocks" in Norfolk such as Konik ponies, Hebridean sheep and I think a type of old fashioned pig similar to Tamworths was trialled in a private wood.

I agree that some reintroductions may be seen as questionable ( eg, WTE on the I.O.W. after North Norfolk fell through a few years back, and Black Storks somewhere ) but why not give it a go. Yes, the continued loss of critical ancient habitat continues unabated but what is there to lose with this scheme?

Regards.

One difference is that nobody goes overboard to the media touting the use of farm animals as an "introduction" or ending the absence of animals from Britain. It's straightforward dishonesty when putting four Bison in a field (and I've seen maybe twenty or so in a "big field" at Kingussie) is touted as "the return of Bison after 6,000 years".

It's more dishonesty when already proven behaviour and effects are touted as experiments, trials or whatever. All these things are already living in the wild in Europe. How different do you think Britain is? If doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result is insanity, then what is doing something of which you know the result before you start and pretending you don't, except lying to the public?

One thing to definitely lose with this scheme is an appetite within the public for sharing the environment with large animals, however British in the past. We've seen the loss of confidence in going out during the pandemic: feed the public a diet of fenced in large animals claiming that constitutes "introduction" and they will come to expect that level of "protection" from large wildlife ever after. It's counter-productive to seeing Britain genuinely rewilded.

Another thing to lose will be the idea that nature is untidy and should be allowed to creep in everywhere: no no, will be the cry - keep it in an enclosure like the Bison "reserve" and tidy up or build on everywhere outside. Especially under the current bunch of wreckers.

It's all wrong, in a nutshell. Lets have Bison and Wild Boar across the whole of the New Forest not only to turn the earth and manage the trees but also to force dogs onto leads and make mountain-bikers a good deal more cautious - and get rid of the ponies, cattle and pigs; Beavers joining Otters in every catchment across Britain to slow water flow and build biodiversity; Wolves culling deer across the Scottish Highlands according to Darwin's principles instead of humans culling for trophies and the best, undiseased, healthiest venison.

John
 

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
There are a lot more than four in the Scottish Wildlife Park at Kingussie but I wouldn't tick them either. Take the fences away and I'll think about it. I can't see what the fuss is about that requires fencing them in, anyway: they roam wild in Poland and the American version is common in Yellowstone with the public wandering among them in vehicles and on foot. But this news is not an introduction by any standard I'm aware of, there's no suggestion that the end-state is unfenced Bison in Kent: it's a joke.

John

And to be fair, every year at least one idiot gets gored by a bison in Yellowstone (the public explicitly SHOULDN'T be wandering among them like they are dairy cows, hence the gorings).
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
It's all wrong, in a nutshell. Lets have Bison and Wild Boar across the whole of the New Forest not only to turn the earth and manage the trees but also to force dogs onto leads and make mountain-bikers a good deal more cautious - and get rid of the ponies, cattle and pigs; Beavers joining Otters in every catchment across Britain to slow water flow and build biodiversity; Wolves culling deer across the Scottish Highlands according to Darwin's principles instead of humans culling for trophies and the best, undiseased, healthiest venison.

John

I know it’s not really the point your making but all these animals end would up being culled or hunted once populations reach certain levels

I don’t think Mysticete, that you have walked through an English field of ansty Friesians with calf ;)
 
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Farnboro John

Well-known member
And to be fair, every year at least one idiot gets gored by a bison in Yellowstone (the public explicitly SHOULDN'T be wandering among them like they are dairy cows, hence the gorings).

Yeah, but what's one idiot between friends? How many citizens do you lose on the roads each year? Darwin gets his way in the end.... :t:

John
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
I know it’s not really the point your making but all these animals end would up being culled or hunted once populations reach certain levels

Oh, all right, not worth doing then. Forget rewilding or conservation in general (unless its teeny tiny things we can have a lot of without anyone noticing), cos we'll only have to manage populations later. Really??? Do you think we shouldn't have Red Deer because the populations have to be managed (of course, they wouldn't if we had a top predator to leave it to....)? Of course not. None of these are any different. There's a world of difference between persecution and management. Nobody should mind transparency and oversight if they are managing rather than persecuting, for a start.

Not only was that not the point I'm making but I absolutely don't see it as a reason not to do it.

I'd be happy to eat Bison steak if the British Bison population was big enough to support culling, just as I like a big lump of hot dead Bambi with some redcurrant jelly.

John
 

KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
United States
If there numbers increase dramatically could they not be captured and sterilized? Just a thought.
 

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