Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Reclassification of Wood Bison from “Endangered” to “Threatened”

 We all know the story of plains bison. They once thundered across the prairies by the millions until trigger-happy Europeans nearly wiped them out. But we don't all know the story of their larger forest-dwelling cousins, the wood bison. Scientists estimate that there may have been around 168,000 in Canada in the late 1800s, with numbers dropping over the course of the century to just a few hundred. And in Alaska, wild wood bison had practically disappeared.

But now, Alaska wildlife officials want to boost the number of the 130 wood bison found in the state at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center by reintroducing a herd in the wild.

Reuters reports, "State and federal officials said the deal used provisions of the Endangered Species Act to classify the bison as a "nonessential experimental population" in Alaska - meaning that protecting them would not hinder development, including oil drilling or mining. The animal is classified as threatened."

The herd will be reintroduced in fenced areas at first, until they get used to their new digs, and eventually released into the wild. Limited hunting might be in the herd's future as well -- if the experiment lives up to its potential, anyway. And officials are hopeful indeed, since similar reintroduction efforts in Canada have been successful.

It is encouraging to see the possible return of such an iconic species to the wild. Fingers crossed for the new herd.

Responses to "Wood Bison In Alaska: America's Largest Living Land Mammal To Be Reintroduced To Yukon River Area "

  1. Anonymous says:

    well where at exactly and what will be theie feeding ground ???

  2. Anonymous says:

    I love the Buffalo/Bison beautiful animals.

  3. Anonymous says:

    wish they could cone to Pennsylvania too ,practically prairie by the Maryland . line now , some Dutch farm land for the Native ...peop round here are ...little too round from it!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    I love this!!! I just wish that they could do the same here in Montana,Wyo,Id. I believe that they made a mistake bringing back the wolf without first restoring larger herds of buffalo down here. Apparently they did not realize how efficient the wolf is at hunting and bringing down larger prey. Of course they are. And they need massive herds of buffalo to sustain them. As it was before this country was settled.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I will believe it when I see it.

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