The World Today

The World Today
Earth in 2013

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The American Bison

Status: No Danger/Reduced

Once traveling in herds numbers in the tens of millions across the Great Plains, the American Bison, or “buffalo” as they are often called, has since been reduced to largely inhabiting the State of Lakoda, along with portions of Montana and Wyoming. The name buffalo is misleading, since bison are more a kin to sheep, and cattle are more a kin to true buffalo. The bison was long since hunted by the Plains Indians. Even after the coming of the White Man, the Indians in Lakoda Territory, lead by the Souix, continued their practice of hunting. Introduction of domestic cattle across much of the west has crowded the bison out of its former range. At the start of the 21st Century, the only part of America where large herds (numbering more than ten thousand members) can be seen in the wild is in the western Indian State. Though many of the Plains Indians have taken to domesticating the bison, the citizens of Lakoda still practice the hunt, although they no longer depend upon it for their very lives. Wildlife management departments of the three states have done such an excellent job of maintaining the population by allowing limited hunts in Wyoming and Montana, along with the Indians taking only what they need, that the bison is in no danger of going extinct.

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