Yellowstone National Park has released its bison population estimates for 2014.
According to the Park, the number of bison in Yellowstone is estimated at around 4,900 head. This number is similar to the 2013 count, and approaches the peak count of 5,000 made in summer 2005.
3,500 of the 2014 bison population were found in the Northern herd, while the rest (1,400) were counted in the Central herd. Of those 4,900 bison, 740 were noted as calves-of-the-year, as observed in an aerial survey conducted in June.
These numbers serve to illustrate for the public how many bison are roaming around Yellowstone National Park; they also serve the Interagency Bison Management Plan, or the IBMP. The IMBP uses these numbers to influence and guide management strategies for bison in the park. Management includes conservation of wild, relict bison populations and reduction of brucellosis transmission risk.
A cooperative plan that extends across state and federal agencies, the IBMP is composed of the following:
- National Park Service
- U.S. Forest Service
- Montana Department of Livestock
- Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks
- InterTribal Buffalo Council
- Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
- Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
- Nez Perce Tribe
For anyone interested in reading more about the IBMP, read here.