The wisent (Bison bonasus) is an endemic animal and used to belong to the natural wildlife fauna in Germany. The destruction of its habitats as well as hunting caused the extinction of the populations living in the wild.
The European wisent survived only through breeding in zoos and in a few (Eastern European) sanctuaries. However, it is in a difficult genetic situation (inbreeding) and therefore continues to be highly endangered.
Wisent habitats are characterised by a mosaic of mixed forests and open grassland. Heathland is also suitable as a habitat. Within the framework of the LIFE Nature project extensive wisent grazing is planned in a mosaic-like habitat of approximately 45 hectares, consisting of forest, heath and grassland.
It is hoped that the wisent grazing will contribute to the preservation and maintenance of this mosaic. Another reason for wisent grazing is to test to what extent the strong presence of the black cherry tree in the forests, at the edges of the forests and in the open areas can be repressed.
The creation of the wisent compound also represents a contribution to the preservation of this animal, which is threatened by extinction. Since there are few large-scale areas for the wisent in Central Europe, where it could be returned to the wild or kept under half wild conditions, smaller enclosures to support the population also make sense.
Thanks to the wisent compound the nature experience in the Cuxhavener Küstenheiden is enhanced in the sense of a "new wilderness with large animals".
Nds. Landesbetrieb für Wasserwirtschaft, Küsten- und Naturschutz
Geschäftsbereich Regionaler Naturschutz
Außenstelle "Naturschutzstation Unterelbe"
Alte Hafenstr. 2
Tel: +49 (0)4779 / 92681-14
Fax: +49 (0)4779 / 92681-15