Park Officials and tribal entities have agreed to reduce the Yellowstone National Park bison population by as many as 900 during the winter months. This is due to a recent population boom and the threat of overgrazing by the buffalo.

The agreement was reached on Wednesday by both parties to curb the park’s bison population by allowing them to be shot by hunters, taken to be slaughtered, or quarantined during the winter months, according to reports. There is a possibility some of them could be relocated.

“Doing nothing is not a realistic option,” the National Park Service wrote on its website. Approximately 5,450 bison reside in Yellowstone National Park according to park biologist Chris Geremia. The website also addresses concerns of brucellosis amount the buffalo saying, “Up to 60% of Yellowstone bison test positive for exposure to brucellosis.”

Elk have spread the disease to livestock but there are no documented cases of bison spreading brucellosis to livestock in the wild, according the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

Brucellosis is an abortion or stillbirth-inducing bacterial disease, that could be spread to cattle in the region, and could be detrimental to livestock growers in the area. Yellowstone’s Bison routinely migrate and head north into Montana each winter, raising concerns that the animals could spread brucellosis. 

Officials claim reducing the population by 600 to 900 would help temporarily stabilize the population and prevent mass starvation of other animals in the region. Allowing the bison population to grow indefinitely would cause overgrazing and larger migrations and greater conflict outside the park.

The decision to shoot or slaughter an animal that faced threats of extinction just over 100 years ago is now receiving criticism from those who believe relocation plans are a feasible option.​

An additional 200 bison could be captured or hunted in the late winter, if the numbers to reduce the population are met, federal, tribal and state officials agreed in the meeting Wednesday. 

Several Native American tribes and the State of Montana separately administer bison hunts outside of Yellowstone National Park. 

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Francesca Smart
Francesca Smart
1 month ago

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1 month ago

As only the incorrigibly, willfully blind have seen by now coming from our filthy, evil government: the above probably contains zero truth. My guess is that somebody stands to make a bunch of money on killing some bison on federal lands. So they cut the right government slime bag in on the deal and come up with some cockamamie story about “culling the herd” and “brucellosis” spreading to livestock and so on to make it seem perfectly legitimate and reasonable. Trouble is our government is not run by legitimate and reasonable people. You can bet the house that this is… Read more »