Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

150 of America’s Last Wild Buffalo Now Trapped in Yellowstone, All Destined for Slaughter

150 of America’s Last Wild Buffalo Now Trapped in Yellowstone, All Destined for Slaughter

[Editor's note: For an update on this story, click here.]

Park rangers have begun capturing wild bison in the Stephens Creek trap within Yellowstone National Park. Since Feb. 20, approximately 150 of America's last wild buffalo have been trapped. According to park officials, all are destined for slaughter.

"Yellowstone's slaughter of wild bison is as lacking in scientific reason as it is in public support," said Buffalo Field Campaign's Stephany Seay.

Since Feb. 20, approximately 150 of America's last wild buffalo have been trapped. According to park officials, all are destined for slaughter. Photo credit: Buffalo Field Campaign

The National Park Service claims that they are reducing the wild bison population due to the threat of brucellosis, a livestock disease originally brought to North America by Eurasian cattle. There has never been a documented case of wild bison transmitting brucellosis to livestock. Elk, who also carry brucellosis and have transmitted the disease to livestock numerous times in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, are free to migrate from Yellowstone and are managed by hunting based on sustainable populations in available habitat in Montana.

Buffalo Field Campaign habitat coordinator Darrell Geist says the state of Montana and Yellowstone National Park refuse to manage wild buffalo like wild elk, an alternative that would put the government out of the buffalo capture for slaughter business.

"Montana is blessed with an abundance of public lands but cursed by a statute that stands in the way of managing migratory buffalo as a wildlife species," said Geist. “Few people know that MCA 81-2-120 is almost entirely funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to back Department of Livestock management of wild buffalo. Without American taxpayer funding, Montana and Yellowstone National Park would have to changes their ways."

Yellowstone and the other Interagency Bison Management Plan (IMBP) partners have stated that they want up to 900 wild bison killed this year. More than 400 have already been killed by hunters. The agencies aim to kill hundreds of wild bison every year until they drive the population—now estimated at 4,400—down to just 3,000 animals. This population target is a result of livestock industry pressure to address unfounded brucellosis fears and Yellowstone's false premise that there are “surplus" wild bison.

Buffalo Field Campaign executive director Dan Brister questions the faulty science that Yellowstone and IBMP partners are operating under.

"There is no such thing as 'surplus' wild bison," said Brister. "Yellowstone's target population cap of 3,000 animals is nothing more than a politically derived number that has nothing to do with carrying capacity."

Yellowstone's capture for slaughter operations adversely impact the wild population's natural immunity to introduced diseases, including brucellosis and increases the risk of more virulent and persistent strains arising in the wild population. Cumulative impacts of management actions pose a significant threat to the viability of wild buffalo remaining in Yellowstone.

Under the voluntarily agreed to IBMP, Yellowstone National Park and the other IBMP agencies continue to operate under faulty assumptions and outdated information, in contravention of the agency's mandate to use the best available science to inform decision makers and the public.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Young Humpback Whale Found Dead, Exposes Devastating Impacts of Ocean Trash

Victory: Alaska's Polar Bears Win Their Day in Court

Elephants Being Slaughtered for Ivory Faster Than They Can Reproduce

12 Breathtaking Photos of Yellowstone National Park

A meteoroid skims the earth's atmosphere on Sept. 22, 2020. European Space Agency

A rare celestial event was caught on camera last week when a meteoroid "bounced" off Earth's atmosphere and veered back into space.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A captive elephant is seen at Howletts Wild Animal Park in Littlebourne, England. Suvodeb Banerjee / Flickr / CC by 2.0

By Bob Jacobs

Hanako, a female Asian elephant, lived in a tiny concrete enclosure at Japan's Inokashira Park Zoo for more than 60 years, often in chains, with no stimulation. In the wild, elephants live in herds, with close family ties. Hanako was solitary for the last decade of her life.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Reintroducing wolves is on the ballot in Colorado. Gunner Ries / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 3.0

By Tara Lohan

Maybe we can blame COVID-19 for making it hard to hit the streets and gather signatures to get initiatives on state ballots. But this year there are markedly fewer environmental issues up for vote than in 2018.

While the number of initiatives may be down, there's no less at stake. Voters will still have to make decisions about wildlife, renewable energy, oil companies and future elections.

Here's the rundown of what's happening where.

Read More Show Less
A health care worker holds a test for patients suspected of being infected with coronavirus at the Center Health Vicoso Jardim on April 30, 2020 in Niteroi, Brazil. Luis Alvarenga / Getty Images

By Alexander Freund

The World Health Organization, along with its global partners in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, has announced that it will provide 120 million rapid-diagnostic antigen tests to people in lower- and middle-income countries over the next six months. The tests represent a "massive increase" in testing worldwide, according to the Global Fund, a partnership that works to end epidemics.

Read More Show Less
U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participate in the first presidential debate moderated by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace at the Health Education Campus of Case Western Reserve University on Sept. 29, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. Scott Olson / Getty Images

The first presidential debate seemed like it would end without a mention of the climate crisis when moderator Chris Wallace brought it up at the end of the night for a segment that lasted roughly 10 minutes.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch