Where Bison Roam, Prairies Thrive

A long-term study of bison grazing in tallgrass prairie shows that bison create richer, more resilient grasslands. Bison enhance biodiversity, support native plants and help prairies withstand severe drought.

"The pastures grazed by the bison had a native plant species richness increase of 86 percent compared to the ungrazed portion of the prairie. Dozens of native plant species returned to the prairie. This suggests that the long-term presence of bison is inherently linked to these plants’ survival. Native plant diversity increased by only 30 percent under the cattle treatment—less than half the positive effect of bison (86 percent). As an added benefit, these gains in biodiversity were resilient to extreme drought. Bison-mediated restoration creates effective and durable conservation outcomes."

bfc 2023 03 02 update

"A richer assortment of plant species gives rise to a greater variety of insects. Small mammals eat those plants, which in turn provides more options for their predators. Things come into balance. Life flourishes within these conditions of complexity, and bison are key to bringing about such biodiversity."

We want to thank Ross for coming out during his winter break this year to be with the Buffalo, and to welcome him back in the Fall for an exciting Buffalo conference we're planning to announce soon! Keep up the good work, Ross!

You can read more of Ross' paper here:


Interested in becoming a Buffalo Field Campaign volunteer? Learn more here: