Posted: Aug 28, 2013 5:32 PM by MTN News
There are an estimated 4,600 bison in Yellowstone National Park, according to officials.
The annual summer bison population abundance monitoring has been completed and the estimate is based on a series of aerial surveys.
The Northern herd has about 3,200 bison and the Central herd has 1,400. There were about 700 calves observed in a June aerial survey.
That's an increase of 8.75 percent over last year's count. The peak population was an estimated 5,000 recorded in the summer of 2005.
According to park officials, this population estimate is used to inform adaptive management strategies under the Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP). The IBMP is a cooperative plan designed to conserve a viable, wild bison population while minimizing the risk of brucellosis transmission between bison and cattle.
The cooperating agencies operating under the IBMP are the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the Montana Department of Livestock, the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, the InterTribal Buffalo Council, the Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes, and the Nez Perce Tribe. More information on the IBMP can be found here.
Photo credit: NPS/Jenny Jones