Today’s Solutions: September 24, 2022

European bison populations are rebounding and their growth is offering new opportunities in the field of wildfire prevention. Researchers in Spain are hopeful that increased bison populations could offer beneficial grazing and wildfire risk reduction. 

As reported by the Guardian, forest fires have destroyed over 741,000 hectares of Spanish land over the past 10 years and warming weather combined with declining sheep populations has created hazardous fire conditions. Fortunately, bison eat 30kg of vegetation a day, cutting back brush while digging up the land to promote diversified growth. 

“The European bison delivers immediate biodiversity,” says Fernando Morán, a veterinarian who is director of the European Bison Conservation Center of Spain. “It opens up dense parts of the forest which lets in the light and allows grass to grow instead of scrub, which lowers fire risk and, in turn, benefits numerous species through food and freedom of movement.”

Bison were driven to extinction in Spain 10,000 years ago, but cave paintings and historic records indicate that they widely roamed the Iberian peninsula for 1.2m years before they became extinct. About 50 bison survived in captivity and today, animals have been reintroduced in the wild and grown to a population of 8,400 bison. 

In the Mediterranean, pasturage is critical to the development of the landscape, but declining animal herding practices have further contributed to increased fire risk. Moving forwards, the conservation center hopes to work with private landowners to sponsor bison herds as well as encourage pasturage with programs that encourage shepherding through skills training and job placement. 

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

What you need to do to make your office more sustainable

Chances are it takes quite a lot of resources to keep your office running. Think about it. The office needs lighting and heat, the ...

Read More

These little tweaks will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle

While it may not be so hard to start living a healthier lifestyle, maintaining one can be very challenging. Having said this, here are ...

Read More

How this city in Illinois plans to stop homelessness by the end of the year

Less than a decade ago, more than 700 people were homeless in the small, 150,000 person city of Rockford, Illinois, about 90 miles northwest ...

Read More

5 ways to boost your microbiome this summer

There's no debating the importance of a healthy gut for overall well-being—and now, more than ever, staying in optimal health is top of mind ...

Read More