Open Access

Daily activity rhythm and habitat use of the semi-free European bison herd during the growing season / Denní aktivita a využití prostředí zubrem evropským (Bison bonasus) během vegetační sezóny


The European bison (Bison bonasus) became extinct in the wild in the 20th century. Due to successful reintroductions of captive individuals, the free-ranging bison population has been steadily increasing. However, the population consists of small and isolated herds whose survival depends on creating larger and connected populations. Detailed knowledge of movement and habitat use in human-dominated landscape is essential for further successful reintroductions of the European bison. Therefore, we studied daily activity and habitat use of the semi-free European bison herd in the hunting enclosure of Židlov from April to September 2014. The lead cow of the herd was fitted with a GPS collar equipped with GSM module. The average home range size of the herd was 29.5 km2 and the average daily utilisation area was 0.5 km2. Forested habitats were preferred during the day (Rayleigh test: Z = 107.31; p < 0. 0001) whereas idle lands (i.e. former shooting ranges now dominated by a mixture of pioneer tree species, hawthorn and grasslands) during the night (Rayleigh test: Z = 214.451; p < 0. 0001). The bison herd did not show any clear preference for a particular forest type (i.e. coniferous, deciduous, different age classes). Additional knowledge on year-long patterns of movement and habitat use is needed to ensure the success of reintroduction programmes

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, Plant Science, Ecology, other