KALUGA, February 27 (RIA Novosti) - The number of European bison inhabiting southern areas of the Kaluga Region, southwest of Moscow, has increased 25% to 50 animals in the past year, the director of a local wildlife reserve said on Friday.
"Bisons usually reproduce once every two years, but the animals in our reserve, where ... they have fitted in perfectly breed almost every year," Sergei Fedoseyev, the director of the Kaluzhskiye Zaseki wildlife reserve said.
He said the first eight bison moved to the reserve from a neigboring nature park in the Orel Region in May 2001, when a federal program to protect the bison in Russia was launched.
The Kaluga Region has allocated over 100,000 rubles ($2,800) to study the animals' migration routes. And another 500,000 rubles ($13,998) has been provided from the regional natural resources ministry in 2008 for a comprehensive study program of the bison.
Reserve officials say the bison migrate between the Orel and the Kaluga regions, which gives some hope that there will be a genetic exchange between the two herds.
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