Conservationists sue government officials over decision to not list Yellowstone's bison as threatened

In federal court, conservationists have said that the US Department of the Interior's ‘no’ to add bison in the list of endangered has threatened the declining population of the animal at Yellowstone National Park.

There was a time when the western United States had millions of wild American bison, playing a major role in the area’s ecology and nutrition for Native American people.

But, the Smithsonian Institution said that in the present time, only roughly 30,000 wild bison are left on the public lands, and conservationists have put in lot of efforts to save the left population.

On Monday, Buffalo Field Campaign, Friends of Animals, and Western Watersheds Project have sued the government officials in Washington D.C.'s federal court over the refusal for addition of Yellowstone's bison in the list of threatened or endangered.

In the lawsuit, the groups mentioned that the intentional killing of bison in Yellowstone via management culling and hunting has notably decrease the population of the animal.

The groups said that knowing the comparatively small size of the Yellowstone bison population, the decline in the numbers of bison linked with intentional killing was huge.

They mentioned, “For example, during 2007-2008 alone, hunting and culling removed at least 1,716 Yellowstone bison. Over 1,000 bison were also killed during 2005-2006. And, it’s estimated that in 1996-1997, Yellowstone bison culling removed 57% of entire Northern subpopulation and 20% of Central subpopulation”.

Human activities, including farming, have notably changed bison’s genetic makeup, and as per the groups the decision of not listing bison as threatened or endangered is going to further pose a potential damage to the bison’s genetic diversities and capabilities that make these animals so unique.

Furthermore, they said that Yellowstone’s bison were the last left population of genetically intact bison across North America.


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