Buffalo Field Campaign is conducting a threats analysis for the distinct population of Yellowstone bison to assess the migratory species’ ability to self-sustain a wild bison population with distinct breeding herds in the Yellowstone ecosystem.
The threats analysis is a critical review of adverse factors operating on Yellowstone bison, and a forecast on the ability of the migratory species to naturally adapt in the wild as a viable, self-sustaining population.
The threats analysis will be evaluating factors increasing the risk of extinction for Yellowstone bison in the wild including significant loss of territory, population isolation, loss of migration corridors and connectivity to habitat, use of livestock and veterinary practices (domestication), the absence of State conservation measures, ineffective federal management actions, and rapid climate change.
The threats analysis will be based in part on Shaffer and Stein’s biological principles of “saving some of everything,” and “saving enough to last.” In their application to Yellowstone bison:
Representation is saving populations “in an array of different environments,” and “the ecological and evolutionary patterns and processes” that allow for natural selection, adaptation and reproduction in the wild.
Redundancy is the ability to withstand catastrophic events by “having essential backups” elsewhere in the Yellowstone ecosystem “as a hedge against the failure of any individual population” in the wild.
Resiliency is the ability to withstand disturbances and adverse events in protected habitats large enough to accommodate population dispersal and recovery in the wild.
Mark L. Shaffer & Bruce A. Stein, Safeguarding our Precious Heritage, (2000).
Buffalo Field Campaign is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information about our endangered species work visit: buffalofieldcampaign.org/endangered-bison-endangered-migration.
Inquiries on using scientific, traditional, and ecological knowledge for advancing the conservation and natural recovery of wild bison in the Yellowstone ecosystem can be made to:
Angela De Sapio
Buffalo Field Campaign
PO Box 957
West Yellowstone, Montana 59758