Back From Extinction

by Jeff Cornish July. 30, 2014 2870 views

The largest land mammal in the Western Hemisphere, wood bison no longer occurred in Alaska and
were also thought to be extinct in Canada at the close of the 19th century. Fortunately, a small herd was
discovered in a remote part of Alberta, Canada. Owing to enforcement of Canadian protection laws, the
number of wood bison grew from 250 animals to more than 1,500 by the 1920s. Today there are
approximately 5,000 healthy wood bison in several herds in Northwest Territories, Yukon, British
Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba.

A large-horned steppe bison lived in Alaska for a few hundred thousand years. Their descendants, the
smaller horned wood bison, lived in Alaska for most of the last 5,000 to 10,000 years but disappeared by
the early 1900s. Their disappearance was probably caused by unregulated hunting and changes in
habitat distribution.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has worked for several years on a program to reintroduce wood bison in Alaska. In 2008 they
received 53 young wood bison from Elk Island National Park in Alberta.

At the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center the herd has grown to over 100 wood bison.

A release into the wild of the lower Yukon/Innoko River area is planned for April 2015.

…back from extinction.

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Diane Davis 5 years, 6 months ago

Thank you for the info. This is an awesome picture

5 years, 6 months ago Edited
Gillian Parsons 5 years, 6 months ago

A miracle indeed.

5 years, 6 months ago Edited
Dan Ravasio 5 years, 6 months ago


5 years, 6 months ago Edited
Mike Meliska 5 years, 6 months ago

Great find...

5 years, 6 months ago Edited
Marilyn Grimble 5 years, 6 months ago

Fabulous - I really love your images - they are always magical.
Faved ...

5 years, 6 months ago Edited