Published November 21, 2015
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK — Fearing an overabundance of buffalo on Yellowstone National Park, park officials are allowing the killing of up to 1,000 bison this winter.
Dozens of buffalo have already been killed by hunters in the Hebgen Basin, west of Yellowstone, and another five (all bulls) were killed by state hunters in the Gardiner Basin, along the park’s northern boundary.
Yellowstone National Park Bison
There are currently some 5,000 bison on Yellowstone National Park. Officials fear the free-roaming off of park into Montana farmland.
“Through the legal agreement the National Park Service has to do this,” said Yellowstone spokeswoman Sandy Snell-Dobert. “If there was more tolerance north of the park in Montana for wildlife, particularly bison as well as other wildlife, to travel outside the park boundaries, it wouldn’t be an issue.”
The Yellowstone buffalo are America’s last wild, migratory herds and the most important bison population that exists. They are the last to identify as a wildlife species and ecologically extinct throughout their native range. They’ve been added to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List for being “threatened with near extinction,” and even Montana designates the species “in greatest conservation need” with conditions “making [bison] vulnerable to global extinction.”
Fighting back is the Buffalo Field Campaign that is in full operation and has a strong need for volunteers. New and experienced volunteers are needed in the field and are always welcome Those interested in assisting may contact the Buffalo Field Campaign.