Hooves on home soil
Reintroducing bison to Banff National Park
Sixteen plains bison were returned to Banff National Park in February. It’s the first time in over 100 years that bison have been in the park. Thirty million once grazed there, but overhunting almost left them extinct. In the early 1900s, the Canadian government bought one of the last herds and kept them in a protected paddock in Alberta. Park officials say the animals, mostly pregnant two year olds, are adapting to their new home, the remote Panther Valley on the eastern side of the park. Their health and movements will be monitored as will their survival rates and how well they withstand predation from wolves and bears. In summer 2018, they’ll be released into a larger area where they can search for food. The goal of this five-year project is to re-establish a wild population and also to help conservation nationally and internationally. For more: pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/ab/banff/plan.aspx.
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