In 1905, WCS’s first president William Hornaday, Theodore Roosevelt, and others launched the American Bison Society (ABS), a national campaign to create wild bison reserves. This effort involved using our Bronx Zoo to propagate seed stock.
In 2005, WCS spearheaded an American Bison Society initiative to help build the social and scientific foundations for the ecological restoration of bison.
Today, bison are absent from most of their former range, and in terms of ecological function, they are losing ground. With our partners, we're developing tools, techniques, and information to further our understanding of bison restoration. We're building communities of practice around these efforts. And we're strengthening outreach, providing education, and informing policy to support bison recovery.
Time is running out. Most bison in North America are held in captivity and managed for meat production. Just a few wild bison herds remain and most of these are small isolated populations facing the gradual loss of genetic diversity. We need to expand existing herds and reintroduce bison to new large landscapes to avoid ecological extinction.
The Vote Bison Coalition held a special reception at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian to celebrate the adoption of the North American bison as America’s national mammal.
Cristián Samper, WCS President and CEO, said: “The National Bison Legacy Act is a milestone in a long journey by WCS, its flagship Bronx Zoo, and many other partners to prevent the bison from going extinct and to recognize the bison’s ecological,...