American Bison

Jet Eliot

Bison Bull, Yellowstone NP, WY, USA

The largest surviving terrestrial animal in North America, American bison still roam the prairies of this continent.

It is estimated there were once 20-30 million wild bison in North America. Habitat loss and unregulated hunting brought the numbers down to 1,091 individuals by 1889. Today in North America, after over a century of regulation and protection, there are approximately 500,000.

The herd of which many of us are familiar are the Yellowstone bison, seen in these photos. They total approximately 5,000 individuals; and are the only free-range bison population in the U.S. who ancestrally date back to prehistoric times.

Bison in Lamar Vly, Yellowstone NP, Wyoming

Bison, Hayden Valley, Yellowstone River, Yellowstone NP

It is extraordinary that any bison exist today after the relentless slaughter in the 1800s.

There is a lot of information about the near-extinction of this mammal, and the heroic recovery…

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