HOME

NEWS

CHARITIES

VOLUNTEER

ACTION CENTER

ADD CHARITY

CONTACT

SUPPORT

World Environment Community Health Animals Celebrity Submit A Site Find A Charity
Finding Yellowstone bison new home has challenges, experts say

By Rob Chaney , The Missoulian

1639 days ago   Article ID# 817030
Original URL

 

Wildlife Conservation Society

MISSOULA, MONTANA (The Missoulian) - Picking a new home for a herd of bison means more than just finding a spot on the map.

"You can take any bison and put them behind a fence and have them be there - that is done all the time," said Keith Aune, senior conservation scientist with the Wildlife Conservation Society in Bozeman. "If you're trying to reconstruct these ecological relationships, where bison have an influence on grazing lands which has influence on small mammals and birds, that could set up a whole different set of criteria."

Aune used to work for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, and started the quarantine study program that now has 100 bison in need of a new home.

Next week, FWP commissioners will consider how to relocate the herd. Possible sites include the 38,000-acre Spotted Dog Wildlife Management Area east of Garrison and the 1 million-acre Bob Marshall Wilderness, the 32,000-acre Beartooth WMA near Great Falls, the 5,800-acre Marias River WMA near Shelby, and the Fort Peck and Fort Belknap Indian reservations.

There are several places besides Yellowstone National Park and Moiese's National Bison Range where bison can be found in large numbers. The Henry Mountains of Utah have about 200 free-ranging bison on roughly 2 million acres of Bureau of Land Management property. Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota has about 500 bison on its 70,000-acre grounds.

"Bison are pretty hardy when it comes to the kinds of forage they can eat and the distances they travel to get water," said Jim Knight, extension wildlife specialist at Montana State University. "But it's also important to look at the neighbors. Bison are awful hard to contain. When they decide to go somewhere, they go somewhere."

Yellowstone-area ranchers have spent decades tangling with bison management issues around the national park. Concerns that the wild bison could transmit brucellosis to domestic cattle have kept the issue controversial.

This quarantined herd has been disease-free since 2005. And while bison have successfully coexisted with cattle in other parts of the country, the brucellosis question still raises suspicion for many potential neighbors.

In his 2010 working paper "A Review of Best Practices and Principles for Bison Disease Issues: Greater Yellowstone and Wood Buffalo Areas," Canadian bison researcher John Nishi said the problem is as much a social issue as a disease ecology matter.

He suggested that planning for bison management should consider "sociologists, economists and political scientists" as well as biology in decision-making. He referred to it as a "wicked problem" - one that is "difficult to define precisely and is resistant to a clear and agreed solution (where) science cannot resolve these dilemmas by filling the gaps in empirical knowledge."

Another challenge is choosing a place that bison won't abandon for something better.

"If I was a bison living in the Bob Marshall, I would go someplace else," Knight said. "Even though it sounds like a big area, the areas it would be suitable are as limited as Yellowstone. I think they'd have a tendency to wander out of there."

Copyright 2015 The Missoulian   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 1639 days ago   Article ID# 817030

Wildlife Conservation Society     View Charity Profile    Visit Website

More Wildlife Conservation Society News

African 'blood ivory' destroyed in New York to signal crackdown on illegal trade

13 days ago From theguardian.com 

LONDON, U K - ...

Uganda gets serious on its anti-poaching methods

31 days ago From ryot.org 

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - ...

In a remote corner of Madagascar, a new hope for saving endangered lemurs

32 days ago From takepart.com 

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - ...

Uganda's elephant population has risen 600% since its 1980s low

35 days ago From news.mongabay.com 

MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA - ...

Poachers in Uganda can’t hide from new software

36 days ago From theepochtimes.com 

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK - ...

Go to page:   1    2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  Next >> 

<< Return To Animal News

Action Center

Polar bears threatened by climate change

Action: Climate Change

Imperiled polar bears will see a population crash in most parts of the Arctic Ocean if global greenhouse gas emissions contin ...

Africa’s vultures are collapsing to extinction

Action: Wildlife Conservation

Among members of the public, I describe myself as a conservationist, or more typically my response is, “I study birds.”
...

Protect rare wildlife from post-fire logging

Action: Stop Deforestation

For thousands of years, fire has played an essential role in sustaining life within California's Sierra Nevada forests. And f ...

Tell EPA to protect all bees from toxic pesticides

Action: Stop Pollution

The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a new rule to create temporary "pesticide-free zones" when commercial honeyb ...

Australia's deep-sea coral reefs could be dead within 50 years

Action: Save Our Oceans

The Marine Conservation Institute (MCI) was responding to concerns about the future of Australia's deep-sea reefs.

View All Actions >>

 

 

Charities

News

Follow Us

Support

Find A Charity

Action Center

World

Community

Facebook

Twitter Support

Contact

Volunteer

Add A Site

Environment

Animals

Google+

Privacy Policy

Copyright

 

 

Health

Celebrity

Terms of Service

Copyright © The Charity Vault All rights reserved.