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Yellowstone National Park's Wildlife: Bison (Buffalo)

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Published on Aug 11, 2011

The American bison (Bison bison), also commonly known as the American buffalo, is a North American species of bison that once roamed the grasslands of North America in massive herds - millions. Their range once roughly comprised a triangle between the Great Bear Lake in Canada's far northwest, south to the Mexican states of Durango and Nuevo León, and east along the western boundary of the Appalachian Mountains.
Bison were hunted almost to extinction in the late 19th century primarily by market hunters and were reduced to a few hundred by the mid-1880s. They were hunted for their skins, with the rest of the animal left behind to decay on the ground.
The US federal government promoted bison hunting for various reasons, to allow ranchers to range their cattle without competition from other bovines, and primarily to weaken the North American Indian population by removing their main food source and to pressure them onto the reservations. Without the bison, native people of the plains were forced either to leave the land or starve to death.
For a decade from 1873 on, there were several hundred, perhaps over a thousand, such commercial hide/market hunting outfits harvesting bison at any one time, vastly exceeding the take by American Indians or individual meat hunters. The commercial take arguably was anywhere from 2,000 to 100,000 animals per day.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American...
Music: by Boguslaw Boguch Cysewski, Song of a Winter Stream

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