Finding a Home, On the Range UPDATE   Leave a comment

The ‘Yellowstone 65’ American Bison (Bison bison) we wrote about a few weeks ago have made the 500 mile journey to their new home, and as soon as they’ve become used to their new surroundings (lots more grass and open fields, not so many mountains) they will be set free to live on Native American lands in far Northeastern Montana. For the past century, ever since the millions of Bison that once lived on the Great Plains fell to only a few hundred living on ranches, zoos and parks, there hasn’t been a herd of Wild Bison living free on the Great Plains until now. So this is a great cause for celebration for the scientists, friends of Bison, and Native Peoples who hold special respect for these animals. Although the first agreement to re-locate wild Bison date back to 1997, it’s taken all these years for the different groups involved to discuss, make plans, file the correct paperwork, and do all the other preparation for the move. Plus, we suspect every one of the Bison had to sign their names to the agreement and many Bison names look the same when written in English so all that had to be worked out. No one wanted to offend or make any of the Bison angry. No one wants to be around an angry Bison.

Bison needs brushing USFWS

“Yeah, well your hair would need brushing too if you just took a 500 mile trip.”

In a few weeks the Bison will travel a few miles from the holding area they’re in now, to their permanent new homes. And in a few years, when the Bison have settled in, lots of other plants and animals will find this land a good place to live, too: Bison are keystone species, which means they create, and hold-together an entire ecosystem environment where other species can live and flourish. So these 65 will help to re-establish historical and cultural and environmental connections with the land. That’s quite a responsibility for animals that would rather just be left alone to eat grass.

Posted April 4, 2012 by ECOVIA eco-adventure® in ECOVIA Central

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