European bison (Bison bonasus Linnaeus, 1758) in Bulgaria: fossil and historical records, distribution, and disappearance


  • Zlatozar Boev National Museum of Natural History Bulgarian Academy of Sciences 1, Blvd. Tsar Osvoboditel, 1000 Sofia, Bulgaria



History of mammals in Bulgaria, Quaternary mammals, Balkan fossil fauna, Large bovines of Europe


An analysis of the past geographical, altitudinal and chronological distribution of the European bison remains in Bulgaria is given. The Paper summarizes all scattered data published in the last 36 years on the distribution of the species. Data of 18 fossil and subfossil localities (Late Pleistocene to 17th c. AD) from 15 out of 28 provinces in the country are presented. The fossil/subfossil record in Bulgaria proves the wide distribution of the wisent in the lowland, plain, and lower hilly landscapes in Bulgaria. Most data originate from prehistoric, ancient, and medieval settlements. The wisent was distributed mainly in the plains in places up to 300 m a. s. l., where are located over 70 percent of the known sites, although it was found in the mountains at 1080 m. a. s. l. The species survived in the country until the 16th -17th c. AD, i.e. seven centuries longer than known so far.


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How to Cite

Boev, Z. (2022). European bison (Bison bonasus Linnaeus, 1758) in Bulgaria: fossil and historical records, distribution, and disappearance. Journal of Wildlife and Biodiversity, 6(Suppl. 1), 92–99.