History of Bison

History of Bison

History of Bison

The great American bison is a truly magnificent animal. It is the largest land mammal in North America since the end of the Ice Age. Estimates of the pre-European herd size vary from 30,000,000 to 70,000,000 animals and they ranged over most of North America.

There are three subspecies of bison:

The Plains bison
Wood bison
European bisen

Where bison and Native Americans lived together,
the bison provided much more than food.

Unregulated killing of bison led to the many millions of animals being reduced to no more than 1,500 individuals in the late 1800s.

Legal protection of the bison in Yellowstone Park, the establishment of preserves like the National Bison Refuge in Montana, along with individuals raising bison on their own land, have helped restore the bison to over 350,000 animals. Current estimates place the size of the U.S. herd at 270,000 animals, with most of the production occurring on private ranches.