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Russian park introduces bison
Wildlife managers seek to recreate ancient ecosystem roles
Wildlife managers have introduced bison to the Russian Arctic in an effort to recreate the ecosystem roles that extinct mammoths once provided. Twelve plains bison (Bison bison bison) were taken from a nursery in Denmark and recently introduced to Ingilor National Park in the northern Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area. Both woolly mammoths (Mammuthus primigenius) and steppe bison (B. priscus) were last found in the Russian Arctic about 11,700 years ago, dying out around the end of the last Ice Age. Prior to their extinction, the animals contributed to storing carbon, as their offal became stored in permafrost. The trouble is, the landscape has changed a lot since the end of the Pleistocene, which may mean unintended consequences for the introduction of these ungulates.