West Pomeranian Nature Society

We are a public benefit organization that has been providing comprehensive services for herds of wild bisons in the West Pomeranian Voivodeship since 2005. Currently, the bison population has about 300 individuals (as of December 2018). A large part of them are located in our voivoidship, but we observe that some of them are dispersed, including in the provinces of voivoideships Greater Poland and Lubusz . Many years of experience in animal protection resulted to 2016 to a project related to reintroduction of lynx in Western Pomerania.

Where do bisons come from? – a short history of cooperation in Western Pomeranian

The first bison to western Poland were brought to the Wałcz Forest District in 1980 on the initiative of prof. Ryszard Graczyk, head of the Department of Zoology, Agricultural University in Poznań (current University of Life Sciences). Eight individuals were brought to the adaptation pen from the Białowieża Forest, which after some time moved to the Mirosławiec Forest District.

Another herd inhabiting the Military Area Drawsko was created by bringing 16 individuals from Białowieża, Pszczyna and Niepołomice to two adaptation pen located in Dobrzany and Łobza. The task was carried out as part of a project financed by the EcoFund foundation in 2008-2009 “Bison protection program in Poland: development and protection of the West Pomeranian herd”. As a result of our actions, 12 females and 4 bulls, after leaving the adaptation pens, merged into one herd and gave birth to the group occupying the territory in the training ground.

To secure the newly created population, in 2010 we implemented a project financed by the EcoFund Foundation: “Consolidation of the effects of restitution of European bison living in the West Pomeranian Voivodeship”. As part of the project, a warehouse base for bison food was created – grain silos and storage containers. GPS telemetry collars have also been purchased and put on the bison.

As both herds did not have contact with each other, the genetic pool was not exchanged. To change the situation in 2015, we created the third herd – “Jałowcówka”, established in the Drawsko Forest District (one of our project partners), consisting of individuals from two existing groups. It was supposed to be a “buffer” between both herds. The whole project was part of the 000010 LIFE / NAT / PL project “Diversification and development of the European bison population in northwestern Poland” implemented in 2014-2019. You can read about the history of these bison and our activities as part of the Bison Emergency on the website http://bisonlife13.zubry.org.pl/home/pl/.

Activities related to the protection and monitoring of bison will be continued by us. We have now signed the contract POIS.02.04.00-00-0013 / 18 “Expanding the operations of the Bison Service Base”. This project will carry out all tasks related to the care of wild bisons in the north-west of Poland.

Dzika Zagroda

The result of our many years of bison activity is the show farm located in Jabłonowo. The project ‘Construction of a bison demonstration enclosure in the Mirosławiec commune’ in 2012 obtained a grant from the Regional Operational Program of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship. The investment was carried out in the ‘design and build’ mode. In 2013, the project was completed and relevant building permits were issued. The total value of the project was PLN 1,100,000, of which 825,000 was financed by the RPOWZ (Regional Operational Program) and 13,000 by WFOŚIGW in Szczecin. The aim of the project was to create a closed bison enclosure with complete technical facilities for handling animals in Jabłonów, Mirosławiec commune. As part of the subsidy POIŚ.05.01.00-00-399 / 12 “Protection of the bison population in north-west in Poland against tourist pressure” the Zagroda was enlarged by 6 ha and was equipped with an observation tower about 9m high and leading above it a 100 m long footbridge, running 3 meters above the bison enclosure. In addition, a didactic wing was added to conduct educational activities. There are 5 adult bison (4 females, one male) brought from the breeding centers in Pszczynach and Gołuchów and one female brought from freedom. We have created a unique opportunity to look at and feed these amazing animals. Every year calves are born in Zagroda. When calfs grow up  about a year,  they are transported to one of the herds living in the West Pomeranian Voivodeship to enrich the genetic pool of the wild population.


The history of the lynx in Zagroda began quite recently, although we planned activities much earlier. In 2015, we received a donation from the Młyn shopping park to build the first lynx demonstration enclosure. In the same year we built another two farms with our own funds. Already at the beginning of 2016 all pen in Jabłonowo were inhabited. In the same year we signed a contract for the first project

POIS.02.04.00-0143 / 16 “Return of the lynx to north-west Poland”. As part of the project, we built another farm in Jabłonów, 4 adaptation pen in Dłusko and two release pen located in the Forest Districts: Mirosławiec and Drawsko. The aim of the project is to restore population of lynx in Western Pomerania. In the project, we anticipated three ways of obtaining lynx for reintroduction:

1. reproduction of lynx in farms in Dłusko and Jabłonowo by constantly kept pairs, “wild training” – learning to hunt, next- put on GPS collars and released into the wild.
2. the “born to be free” method – slightly modified – keeping pairs in pens and allowing kittens born in the pen can go outside, with the possibility of returning until their were full independence
3. bringing animals born in various breeding centers in Europe, wildness, learning to hunt, and after putting on telemetry collars released.
As part of the project, 3 places for releasing lynx were selected: Dłusko – Węgorzyno commune, Mirosławiec Forest District – Mirosławiec commune, Drawsko Forest Inspectorate – Kalisz Pomorski commune. The animals have been successively released since March 2019. We released nine animals in Dłusk. Four more were released in Mirosławiec. We are in the process of preparing to release more animals.

Until now, we used method no 3 – importing animals from various centers. We have released 13 lynxes to this day. Lynx in the wild are doing great, much better than we thought, practically today we do not have any losses due to problems with hunting or resulting from contact with humans. They are all supervised telemetrically, we monitor where they are and what they do on an ongoing basis.
You can visit our project website: www.rysie.org