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Q: Wild buffalo herds in the US ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Wild buffalo herds in the US
Category: Science > Agriculture and Farming
Asked by: traveler-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 10 Apr 2002 11:02 PDT
Expires: 10 May 2002 11:02 PDT
Question ID: 3
Where can i find wild buffalo herds in the US?
Subject: Re: Wild buffalo herds in the US
Answered By: researcher-ga on 10 Apr 2002 11:52 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Unfortunately the number of wild buffalo herds in the United States has 
decreased significantly over the past two centuries. However it is still 
possible to view wild buffalos. The Yellowstone National Park maintains the 
largest number of wild buffalo in the United States and many other National 
Parks provide habitats for buffalos. It is estimated that there was once 60 
million buffalos in North America. According to the National Bison Association 
there are only 350,000 buffalos in North America today.

Here is a partial list of public herds in North America, most of which one can 
visit and witness the buffalo grazing and roaming:
Yellowstone National Park, WY
Wind Cave National Park, SD
Badlands National Park, SD
Theodore Roosevelt National Park, ND
National Bison Range, Montana
Ft. Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge, NE
National Elk Refuge/ Grand Teton National Park, WY
Wichita Mountain National Wildlife Refuge, OK
Land Between The Lakes, KY
Blue Mounds State Park, MN
Custer State Park, SD
(For a full list please visit

Today, 90% of the world's bison population are found in private herds. For more 
information on private heards in North America, please visit Native Americans have 
also been maintaining buffalo herds and more information on those can be found 

The National Bison Association keeps a record of all public and private herds. 
Their breakdown of the bison population is as follow:

Privately owned bison - U.S. - 244,000
Privately owned bison - Canada - 100,000
Public herds - U.S. - 10,000
Public herds - Canada - 3,000
Native American herds - 7,000
Bison in zoos - 750
Bison outside U.S & Canada - 300

Taken from "Bison History: Where The Buffalo Roam Today"

Additional information about buffalos:

"[The buffalo] 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. Unregulated 
killing of bison led to the many millions of animals being reduced to no more 
than 1,500 individuals in the mid to 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."
Taken from "Bison History: Where The Buffalo Roam Today"

"By the 1820s, buffalo hides were the primary 'product' sold by Native 
Americans. Road and railroad development brought thousands of Anglos that 
slaughtered bison as sport. Drought and lack of relocation land also took out 
many. Eighty years after the Louisiana Purchase, more than 25 million Bison had 
been exterminated. By 1893, only five herds totaling about 500 wild mountain 
bison had survived. Congress passed a law in 1894 to protect four small herds 
at Yellowstone National Park. A national crusade to breed and restore bison in 
1905 saved the sturdy legendary animals."
"Legendary 'Nickel' of Denver's Buffalo Herd" by Carole Lomond. Colorado City & 
Mountain Views website.

"Yellowstone's buffalo, descendants of the herds, 30 to 60 million-strong, that 
once thundered across the country, are among the most powerful symbols that 
remain of America's magnificent natural heritage. In 1902, there were only 23 
buffalo in Yellowstone, but, by the fall of 1996, the herd had grown to an 
estimated 3,500. Today, after four years of government ordered killing, the 
number of Yellowstone's buffalo population has plunged to just 2,200."
"Yellowstone's Buffalo Herd". Natural Resource Defense Council.

"The bison has often been described as the most ferocious animal in North 
America. This description is no doubt a result of its great size. Full-grown 
bulls weigh up to 2,000 pounds and stand six feet or more at the shoulder. 
Their massive heads, which are matted with a thick covering of wiry hair, hold 
a set of horns that are never shed. The shoulders carry a huge hump that gives 
the bison its characteristic top-heavy look, the hips being much smaller in 
relation to the rest of the body. A bison cow is similar in appearance to the 
bull, but is smaller in size, weighing up to 1100 pounds and reaching a height 
of four to five-and-a-half feet at the shoulder...Bison are herbivores or plant 
eaters, and feed primarily on wheat grass, buffalo grass, blue grama, and other 
similar grasses. Though they generally have poor eyesight, bison have excellent 
hearing and a keen sense of smell. Bison reach maturity at seven or eight years 
of age and may live to the ripe old age of thirty."
Theodore Roosevelt National Park History of the Buffalo

Additional websites that may interest you:

National Wildlife Federation: The Buffalo

PBS, Nature: American Buffalo: Spirit of a Nation

Theodore Roosevelt National Park History of the Buffalo

If planning a trip to view buffalo, may want to visit:

National Park Service: Visit Your Parks Park Guide

GORP - Guide to Outdoor Recreation & Active Travel

Google search terms used "buffalo herd OR wildlife", "national park service"
traveler-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Perfect! Thanks

Subject: Re: Wild buffalo herds in the US
From: strickdotnet-ga on 24 Oct 2002 16:12 PDT
If you live in or visit Southern California, you can also find wild
buffalo on Catalina Island, of all places (tourist destination 20+
miles off the coast of Los Angeles). With the exception of the
picturesque town of Avalon, the island is wild, and many buffalo roam
free. If my recollection serves correctly, they were originally
brought over for a movie in the 1920s, and have been there ever since.
There are many tours you can take from Avalon to view the buffalos and
the rest of the island.

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