American bison

The American bison, also commonly known as the American buffalo, is an iconic symbol of North America and the largest land mammal on the continent. Historically, bison roamed across much of North America in vast herds, but due to habitat loss and overhunting, their range has been greatly reduced.


The American bison and their historical and current distribution:

  1. United States: American bison historically ranged across large portions of the United States, primarily in the Great Plains region from northern Mexico up through Canada. Today, they are found in select areas where conservation efforts have reintroduced them or where they are managed within protected areas. Some states with notable bison populations include:
    • Montana: Bison can be found in places like Yellowstone National Park, which has one of the largest remaining wild bison herds in the United States.
    • Wyoming: Yellowstone National Park extends into Wyoming, providing habitat for bison in this state as well. Additionally, bison are found in other parts of the state, including the Wind River Reservation.
    • South Dakota: The state is home to several populations of bison, including those in Badlands National Park, Wind Cave National Park, and Custer State Park.
    • North Dakota: Theodore Roosevelt National Park is a notable location for bison in North Dakota, along with other protected areas and private ranches.
    • Kansas: Certain areas in Kansas, such as the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, have bison herds maintained for conservation and educational purposes.
    • Nebraska: Bison can be found in places like the Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge and the Nebraska National Forest.
  2. Canada: Historically, bison were widespread across the Canadian prairies. Today, they are primarily found in protected areas and on Indigenous lands in provinces like Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Places like Elk Island National Park and Wood Buffalo National Park are known for their bison populations.

Efforts to restore and conserve bison populations continue, both in the United States and Canada, as they are important ecological and cultural symbols. However, their distribution remains limited compared to historical levels.

American bison in Zoos

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