Yellowstone Bison Population Up This Winter

The Park Service uses an aerial survey to estimate the population, but the survey was difficult to conduct this year, due to low snowpack and the resulting bare patches of ground.  These conditions are likely to have resulted in an underestimate of the population by as much as ten percent, according to park officials. Last year’s late winter population estimate was 2,900 bison;

Fifty-six percent of the bison are in the Northern Range herd, with forty-four percent in the Central Interior herd.

Last year’s late winter population estimate was 2,900 bison.

State licensed and tribal hunters removed four bison from the population this year. No other bison have been captured or shipped to slaughter, or otherwise removed from the population this winter.

This population estimate is used to inform adaptive management strategies under the Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP). Specific management actions may be modified based on expected late winter population levels, as corroborated by the summer population estimate.

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