Keeping bison wild



Although there are about half a million bison in North America today, most exist in small private herds of less than 400 adults.  Though the ultimate goal may be to return this species to its place as a free-roaming master of the Great Plains, for now the reality is the need to manage bison in a way that encourages both behavioral and genetic diversity where they are.  Even on small reserves, we need a way to keep bison wild.

Since 2004 my students and I have conducted research on the bison at Samuel H. Ordway prairie reserve, owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy.  We work at the intersection of behavior, conservation, and management, observing in detail the behavior of bulls during the short summer breeding season and the effects of different management strategies on bull behavior and mating success.  Contact me if you want to be part of this work or want more information.