Looks like the bison population is about to change drastically…
Hundreds of bison are set to be killed in Yellowstone National Park in the upcoming weeks, according to Newsweek.
The National Park Service (NPS) confirmed the news this past Tuesday.
In an effort to keep the population manageable, 600-900 Yellowstone bison will be either killed or moved.
They said via Facebook post that the efforts to control the bison population in Yellowstone began on February 13th at a northern part of the park called Stephens Creek, near Gardiner, Montana.
“Bison capture and shipping operations begin when bison migrate from the interior of the park into the Gardiner (Montana) Basin and may continue through late March.”
There are a total of 5,540 bison in Yellowstone, broken up into two different herds.
Of course, bison used to be pretty plentiful across North America, but were brought to near extinction by colonial settlers and the U.S. Army in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Now, there is an estimated 30,000 bison left in managed herds across the country, not including those kept on private land.
Yellowstone said that the bison killings will be done in three different ways: hunting the bison that roam outside the park by Native American tribes and the wider public, transporting them to tribal people for processing, and moving healthy bison onto tribal lands.
The NPS video about the bison control efforts included a statement behind their decision:
“Bison from Yellowstone don’t have enough room to roam outside the park. As the population grows, more bison migrate.
This migration can cause conflict. Safety concerns include property damage and disease transmission to cattle.
Our goal is to preserve bison while addressing these concerns.”
NEWS RELEASE: Bison operations began at the Stephens Creek administrative area in Yellowstone National Park late last week (week of Feb. 13). Bison capture and shipping operations begin when bison migrate from the interior of the park into the Gardiner (Montana) Basin and may continue through late March.Bison operations at Stephens Creek happen as part of the Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP), whose partners include federal, state and Tribal groups. The 2022 winter operations plan recommends removing 600 to 900 animals from Yellowstone’s population of more than 5,000 bison.The population will be reduced using three methods: 1) public and Tribal hunting outside the park; 2) capturing bison near the park boundary and then transferring them to Native American Tribes for processing and distribution of meat and hides to their members; and 3) the Bison Conservation Transfer Program that results in brucellosis-free bison being moved to Tribal lands.Located in the northern section of the park near Gardiner, Montana, the Stephens Creek administrative area includes park corral operations, equipment storage, a native plant nursery, and the bison capture and quarantine facilities. The administrative area is closed to the public year-round.The National Park Service reminds visitors that unmanned aircraft (drones) are prohibited in Yellowstone National Park.Learn more about bison management: go.nps.gov/YellowstoneBison