40+ animals died in Belovezhskaya Pushcha because of Polish fence
The construction by the Polish side of a fence 186km and 5.5m high can become a serious threat to many representatives of the fauna. In the visible future, bison and other Red Book animals living on the territory of Belovezhskaya Pushcha can significantly reduce their numbers, or even disappear altogether.
Mark Baransky, Deputy Chairman of the Grodno Regional Organisation of the Belarusian Society of Hunters and Fishermen, is convinced, “The world-class reserve is already feeling the consequences. We do not have access to the structure itself, since this is a border zone; however, we regularly receive reports from border guards about the death of animals. According to the observations of our gamekeeper service, a decrease in the number of some species of animals is already registered. The fence dividing Belovezhskaya Pushcha will eventually lead to the isolation of large mammals and the impoverishment of their genetic fund. Moreover, the engineering structure causes fragmentation of the habitat of animals, limiting the ability to find food and water. That is why it is so important to give animals the opportunity to migrate throughout the Pushcha.”
According to Mark Baransky, the construction of the fence stopped the migration of such predatory animals as the lynx, the wolf, and stopped the resettlement of the bear.
“It is worth recalling that bison, which are today the hallmark of Belarus, once almost disappeared from the face of the earth. It took a lot of effort to restore their population. At the same time, we previously liaised very closely with representatives of environmental organisations in Poland, organising joint meetings and seminars. Now this communication is completely stopped for no apparent reason though the Belovezhskaya Pushcha has the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.”