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Thursday, 15 October 2015

Tauros cattle arrived in CZ Republic

Today I was addressed to an article by derstandard.at by Margret Bunzel-Drüke from the ABU. It reports that a small starter herd of Tauros cattle have arrived in the CZ Republic. See here or here, for example. You see some photos of the herd on each of these links.  

It has been prepared to set up a Tauros site in this country since at least 2010 if I remember correctly, now a herd of one bull and five cows accompanied by 15 Exmoor ponies have been released in the ex-military base Milovice on 40 hectares. 

The background of these six animals is nebulous to me as usual. They are all rather young, so they might be second-generation crosses (at least some of them). I think that this cow, because of the shape and size of its horns, is likely to be half Highland x Maremmana, I have no idea what the father might be. The other long horned cow on the larger photo, might be Maremmana x Sayaguesa based on its looks, or of the same combination as the other one (because of the longer hair on its belly). The bull next to it looks as if it is the son of their Pajuna bull, it might also have a Highlander and/or Maremmana in its ancestry because of the large horns. Regarding the other animals, I have no clue. They could have anything from Sayaguesa, Pajuna, Tudanca, Limia and also Maronesa (in the case of the low-horned cow on this photo) in their ancestry. 

All in all, based on what I have seen so far, the sexual dimorphism in the Tauros herds is weak so far. That is because the founding breeds are variable in this respect. In this variability, the Tauros animals tend to be on the "dark end" of the colour spectrum, as far as I can tell. It is not possible to tell what the horns will be like yet, because there is so much variability to be expected. I hope that the influence of Highland and Maremmana is enough to breed spectacular horn sizes. It is nice to see that many of the early cross products are slender and well-proportioned right from the beginning, what is not surprising since most of the founding breeds are of that type. 

10 comments:

  1. I think they look quite good for a starter herd. The body proportions as you mentioned are particularly nice and not very Heck-like. I guess we have to wait until they are older to see how the horns turn out. It will be interesting to see how this herd develops.

    Thank you for keeping an eye on these projects!

    Petter Bøckman

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  2. On rewilding Europe website in the news section is stated that a herd of tauros has just arrived in an area of the Romanian Danube delta already inhabited by feral cattle. Tauros project is being really successful, at least in spreading the use of primitive cattle breeds in restoration ecology throughout Europe

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    1. Yes, they are gaining quantity quite fast it seems (although not all foundations are satisfied as I heard). After that, the next task is to improve in quality.

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    2. In order to be able to affect quality, one will need selection, and selection will only be able with a quantity to select from. The development seems quite interesting.

      Petter Bøckman

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  3. As Filippo correctly states "On rewilding Europe website in the news section is stated that a herd of tauros has just arrived in an area of the Romanian Danube delta already". But they have not mentioned the existence of a herd in the CZ republic so far. I am going to ask them about this and as soon as I get an answer from them, I will post it here. But thanks for the info, Daniel Foidl!
    Roland Babilon, interested in rewilding, breeding back and especially in breeding back the auerochs

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  4. Back in August I contacted Rewilding Europe because I wanted to get more information about the Tauros Programme. After I while, I received the answer:To answer your questions at the moment we have 4 herds of Tauros in the RE-areas (2 in Western Iberia, Portugal, 2 in Velebit Mountain, Croatia). We are planning a 5th herd in the Danube Delta this Autumn. In the Netherlands/Belgium with, at the moment, more than 200 animals, incl F3 calfs we are building a source population. In the near future we will publish a first genetic study on the relation between Aurochs and the breeds we are working with. I only publish it now, because I did not know the breedingback blog back then.

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    1. Thanks for the info!
      Do you know the name of the particular person that responded to you?

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    2. The name of the person who answered my inquiry is Mr. Elderadži, a communication manager of Rewilding Europe.

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    3. As he is in charge of communicating with the public, I think it should be okay to give you his e-mail address: mei.elderadzi@rewildingeurope.com.
      By the way, I asked him yesterday why there is no information about the CZ Tauros herd on the homepage of Rewilding Europe. As soon as I get an answer, I will come back to you to inform you and the blog readers.

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  5. Now I have got a reply to my e-mail by Mr. Elderadzi. Mr E. from Rewilding Europe confirmed the release of of Tauros herd in the CZ-republic and in Romania in the Danube Delta. (The new herd in Romania counts 12 individuals.) The reason why there is no information on the Tauros herd in the CZ-republic on the website of Rewilding Europe is probably that it is taken care of by European Wildlife conservation organization and not by Rewilding Europe.
    Apart from that, he revealed to me plans for new sites in Europe for the Tauros cattle: “During the next period with the timeframe of maximum half a year more Tauros cattle will be transported to different identified and selected Rewilding Europe Network sites (we are working on this at the moment) and we will report on all of this joint actions on our web page in a subsequent news item.”

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