Talk:European bison

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I do not like the phrase "not counting a tail of 30 to 60 cm (12 to 24 in) long"; suggest changing it to "length" instead of "long". -- — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:09, 2 September 2012 (UTC)


I changed Siberia to Russia since siberia isn't a part of Europe and Russia is the most Eastern nation —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:31, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

There are 50 wisents in Romania as well but the survival is difficult.

- The historic range should be moved to west, because there were paintings and bones of European bison in some caves in Spain from the ice age (as the Altamira caves, showed in the article)


"... and vast herds may gather around this diet supplement." Should this sentence be in the present tense, or does it describe a past habit? I understand the article to report that there are only a few wild animals now, certainly no remaining 'vast herds'. Dawright12 (talk) 08:40, 2 May 2012 (UTC)


The cite #1 doesn't seem to lead anywhere, and none of the references cited at the bottom seem to discuss Chernobyl.


Pronunciation taken from Webster's Third. --Cam 16:40, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Y chromosomes[edit]

I looked at the scientific literature and comprehensive sites like Ultimate Ungulate and could see nothing about there being only 2 Y-chromosome variants, although it is believable ... please cite a source! Satyrium 16:06, 9 September 2006 (UTC)


Isn't that a Bison, not a Wisent? ---Majestic- 10:49, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

If it is photographed in Białowieża, Eastern Poland, it is most likely a true wisent. But don't be confused as wisents are also bisons! They are European Bison, a very close relative of the North American Bison! Peter Maas\talk 15:15, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Former Range[edit]

From my memory, and then in turn from a German language handbook of mammal zoology (published in the 1990es): Wisent ranged in historical times from France to China (or ist border), but did not occur in the British Isles (as opposed to Auerochs) - range in prehistoric times or of palaeobiological ancestors may of course differ. The article contradicts that. Without sources given, it is hard to decide. Naturally, I trust more what I read (in a Zoological University Institute library) than what some anonymus typed on the Internet. Perhaps we could compare sources (taking into account their nature and assessed reliability!). (talk) 14:49, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Dead Internet link[edit]

One link was supposed to lead to some article on that (alleged) German "re-introductory" program; but that did not work when I tried it today. (talk) 14:49, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Cultural History[edit]

One of my "pet" areas of study is the cultural history of animals (to supplement my equally strong interest in the natural history of them). Years ago I browsed the largest dictionary of German for early references. One difficulty is that many early authors confused Wisent and Aurochs/Urus. But some quotes as early as medieval literature are certain, among them in the Nibelungenlied. I don't know if that would be of interest to other readers also.

Regards, Sophophilos: (talk) 14:49, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

IUCN: "Endangered" or "Critically Endangered"?[edit]

Both the info box and the opening text say the wisent is classified as Critically Endangered by the IUCN. However, further down in the page, it says the IUCN classified it as Endangered in 1996. I have gone to the source and checked the IUCN website, and in fact it is the latter that is true; however, I would like to have someone else's approval before I go ahead and edit the text so that I can be sure I am not missing some IUCN update I am not privy to. Or if someone else with more knowledge on the subject wants to go ahead and change it in the meantime, I suppose that would be OK too. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rcgy (talkcontribs) 05:38, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

I just changed it. No one else has come forward with information, so I think we should just go with what the website says. 05:27, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
It looks like the "critically endangered" designation was put there by an IP editor with a history of sloppy work: [1]. So I don't think there's anything to worry about. Zagalejo^^^ 05:31, 18 June 2008 (UTC)


An external site has raised the concern that a portion of this article might be plagiarized from the WWF site, with large sections of text being taken verbatim. Duck of Luke (talk) 04:21, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Seems like most of that content was added in this edit. I've reverted to the first edit before that point, but a lot of constructive changes have been lost. Unfortunately, I have to sign off right now, so I can't restore the good edits at this moment. Anyone want to help? Zagalejo^^^ 04:37, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm back. I think I fixed the problem, but someone should double-check, just to be sure. Zagalejo^^^ 05:09, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks to Emperor at Wikipedia Review for pointing that out. (I'll probably incur someone's wrath for that, but I should give credit where credit is due.) Zagalejo^^^ 05:12, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
It was actually a user named "Meldrick Lewis" on who originally found the problem, but then the Emperor took it to Wikipedia Review. And of course I took it here. Thanks for getting to it so quickly. Duck of Luke (talk) 13:09, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Right. I learned about the problem by browsing WR. But thanks to Meldrick, and you, as well. Zagalejo^^^ 15:06, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Social Structure and Territorial Behaviors[edit]

The article currently describes one sort of herd as: "Mixed groups consist of infants, young aged 2–3 years, calves and young adult bulls." There is no mention of the cows who -- I presume -- are the mothers of the other individuals mentioned. It's also not clear whether the "young adult bulls" are the older offspring of those mothers, or whether they are the fathers of present and future offspring of those mothers. I also see no mention of whether these mixed groups contain a herd bull -- a bull who mates with all the adult cows.

I suggest that a reasonable edit would be: "Mixed groups consist of several [related|unrelated|mostly unrelated] cows, [a herd bull,] and infants, young aged 2–3 years, calves and young adult bulls who are offspring of the herd cows." However, I suggest this from a generalized knowledge of herd animals and not any knowledge of wisents in particular, which is why I have not gone ahead and made the edit. It would be good if someone who knows wisents could decide whether the bracketed words are to be included or excluded.

VictoriaWordNerd (talk) 19:22, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

Nobody has fixed your problem after two years, I have changed it to something that at least makes basic sense.Eregli bob (talk) 03:31, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

Map update[edit]

Reading the article alone leads to the impression that the map is awfully outdated (based on the one at the UICN site I guess). Shouldn't somebody make a new one, showing the areas where the species has been reintroduced (and in the case of Kirguizistan, introduced)? The Caucasian reserve should be shown at the very least, considering the reintroduction there took place "decades ago".--Menah the Great (talk) 10:37, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

"with only scattered reports from the 19th century of wolf and bear predation" <-------- BS!!! There are some cases in Poland about killing zubr by wolves only in last 20 years. I have seen documentary film from about 2003 with "butchering place" of one zubr. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:12, 18 May 2012 (UTC)

Stone age depictions[edit]

Aren't these rather the Steppe Wisent? FunkMonk (talk) 01:00, 18 May 2012 (UTC)


They have wall paintings on the Minoan Palace showing Bull Jumping, any chance the animal shown painted is a relatitve of the European Bison/Auroch? (talk) 02:04, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

File:Bison bonasus (Linnaeus 1758).jpg to appear as POTD soon[edit]

Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that File:Bison bonasus (Linnaeus 1758).jpg will be appearing as picture of the day on July 29, 2012. You can view and edit the POTD blurb at Template:POTD/2012-07-29. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page so Wikipedia doesn't look bad. :) Thanks! howcheng {chat} 16:58, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

Picture of the day
European bison (wisent)

The European bison or wisent (Bison bonasus) is the heaviest of the surviving land animals in Europe, with males growing to around 1,000 kg (2,200 lb). European bison were hunted to extinction in the wild, but have since been reintroduced from captivity into several countries. This male is moulting, his winter coat coming off in clumps.

Photo: Michael Gäbler
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

Adult females ?[edit]

"The European bison is a herd animal, which lives in both mixed and solely male groups. Mixed groups consist of infants, young aged 2–3 years, calves and young adult bulls."

This makes no sense. Where are the adult females ? It is also inconsistent with every other species of herding herbivore. I suspect that "calves" may be a mistranslation of a word which actually means "cows" ( adult females ).Eregli bob (talk) 03:26, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

Wisent became extinct in the area of modern day Germany 200–400 years earlier than stated[edit]

The article states, ″In April 2013, eight European bison (one male, five females and two calves) were released into the wild in the Bad Berleburg region of Germany, after 300 years of absence since the species became extinct in that region.″ This definitely is incorrect (even though quoted correctly, but unfortunately the source already got it wrong). Compare German WP: „Auf dem Gebiet des heutigen Deutschlands verschwand der Wisent zwischen dem 14. und 16. Jahrhundert.” (= ″On the territory of today's Germany, the wisent disappeared between the 14th and the 16th century.″)
(The confusion probably stems from the East Prussian wisent population, whose last member was killed in 1755 (~250 years ago). East Prussia definitely isn't a part of Germany today (the area is now divided between Poland and Russia) and, to make things even more complicated, it never was a part of Germany while wisent lived there even though it was a part of the state of Prussia, whose western half (Brandenburg, Pommerania) was a part of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation (Germany from 962 – 1806). Thus even German WP is a bit misleading, as it would be absolutely correct to leave out the ′today's′ in the quote mentioned above.)
-- (talk) 15:53, 19 April 2013 (UTC)


The section has several issues:

  • the survival of the species in zoos and parks is not covered
  • the survival outside Białowieża is only mentioned passingly, but the survival of the Caucasian population with at least one bull is of importance
  • a freely roaming population seems to have survived on the island of Darß until the end of World War II
  • it is said that the Europen Bison was protected by Polish laws. This is a half truth because any hunt - not just that of the Bison - in the forest was a royal privilege. The legal situation during the Russian time needs at least one citation - and make it a historical source, not hearsay from WWF pages unless they mention their secondary sources
  • same for the claim that it were Germans (and Germans only) who killed 600 bisons at the end of WW I. See the point about sources from professional historians above.
  • the survival after WW II can be expanded. -- Zz (talk) 11:39, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

Either here or in the Miscellanea section, someone ought to mention Mikołaj Hussowczyk and his epic Latin poem about bisons, the De statura, feritate, et venatione bisontis. (talk) 05:17, 24 February 2014 (UTC)


The etymology needs some work; see for a better attempt. The modern word (and spelling) enters English via French from Latin, not directly from the German. The Latin bison" probably gave rise to the Greek βίσων, since there's no record of the word in Greek prior to Pliny's mention of it in Latin in the NH -- the Greeks borrowed it from the Romans too. (talk) 05:11, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

Herd size[edit]

Article says herd size is small 20-30 animals. The American bison herds could be massive, 10s of thousands. Did the European bisen at one time also have huge herds, like in the open steepes of the east? If not, are small herds a survival mechanism from hominid predators whom they would have evolved with over millions of years, unlike the American bison which were hominid-free until the last 10 thousand years or so. -- GreenC 03:23, 17 October 2015 (UTC)

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