Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Although there were at one time 6 species of bison, only 2 still exist: the American Bison and the European Bison. Although the American Bison is commonly referred to as "buffalo," this animal is not really a buffalo, as real buffalo are only native to Asia. American Bison are the largest land mammals in North America, and European Bison are the largest land mammals in Europe. During the 1800s, American Bison were almost hunted to extinction, until in 1890, only around 750 existed. Around this time, individuals began to purchase Bison and keep them on privately owned ranches, in an effort to raise the population. There is only one herd that has been continuously wild in the United States. Many advocates believe that this herd, which lives at Yellowstone National Park, should be protected under the Endangered Species Act, although at present time it is not.


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