Nearly 5,000 Bison Estimated To Be In Yellowstone National Park Herds

Alternate Text
Yellowstone's bison population is close to 5,000/Marcelle Shoop

The annual summer census of bison in Yellowstone National Park shows there are about 5,000 of the iconic animals in the park.

The estimate, of 4,900 animals, is similar to the 2013 summer estimate, park officials said in a release. The peak population estimate of 5,000 bison was recorded in the summer of 2005, they added.

There are approximately 3,500 bison in the park's Northern herd and 1,400 in the Central herd, the release said. There were about 740 calves-of-the-year observed in a June aerial survey.

This population estimate is used to inform adaptive management strategies under the Interagency Bison Management Plan. The IBMP is a cooperative plan designed to conserve a viable, wild bison population while minimizing the risk of brucellosis transmission between bison and cattle.

The cooperating agencies operating under the IBMP are the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the Montana Department of Livestock, the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, the InterTribal Buffalo Council, the Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes, and the Nez Perce Tribe.