Wild bison reintroduced in Canadian National Park after a century of absence

A thriving herd of bison re-established in Banff National Park to conserve the species.

© Susan Drury at Flickr

A total of 16 bison were loaded onto shipping containers and transported from Elk Island National Park to Banff National Park in the past week in a move to reintroduce a new wild herd in the park after a century of absence.

According to CBC News, this “historic homecoming” included the herd being let out into a pasture where they will stay for 16 months while being monitored via radio collars by Parks Canada.

“This is a great day for Banff National Park. It’s a great day for Canada and frankly, it’s one of the great days for wildlife conservation in the history of North America,” said Harvey Locke, a conservationist, writer and trustee with the Eleanor Luxton Historical Foundation, to CBC News.

The herd should eventually be released in summer 2018 into a 1,200-square-kilometre area of the park where they will be able to interact with other native species and integrate into the ecosystem.

This reintroduction will help re-establish a new wild population of wild bison in Banff National Park, helping the conservation of the species nationally and internationally.

“Banff Park was involved in saving the species from extinction 100 years ago, and today it’s involved in restoring this species as part of the landscape, as a wild animal, and that is really exciting,” Locke added.

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