Monday, January 21, 2013

Bison roaming Montana's Great Plains

Historically, bison numbered an estimated 20-30 million. Unregulated shooting of bison, which culminated in mass slaughters during the 1870s, reduced the population to about 1,000 in 1889.

Today, approximately 500,000 bison live across North America. Most are not pure bison but rather have been cross-bred with cattle in the past and are raised as livestock on ranches. Fewer than 30,000 bison are in conservation herds, and fewer than 5,000 are free-ranging and disease-free.

Often weighing over a ton, Bison may appear sluggish and mild mannered, but can move with amazing speed and deadly power to defend themselves if provoked.


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