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Datasheet

Bos bison (American bison)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 30 May 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Threatened Species
  • Host Animal
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Bos bison
  • Preferred Common Name
  • American bison
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Chordata
  •       Subphylum: Vertebrata
  •         Class: Mammalia
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • The American bison, Bos bison, is a large mammalian herbivore that was once numbered in the tens of millions and was distributed throughout most of North America, with numbers greatest in the grasslands of th...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Bos bison (American bison); bull, on American plains. USA.
TitleAdult
CaptionBos bison (American bison); bull, on American plains. USA.
CopyrightPublic Domain image: released by USDA-ARS/Jack Dykinga
Bos bison (American bison); bull, on American plains. USA.
AdultBos bison (American bison); bull, on American plains. USA.Public Domain image: released by USDA-ARS/Jack Dykinga
Bos bison (American bison); bull and cow.
TitleBull and cow
CaptionBos bison (American bison); bull and cow.
CopyrightPublic Domain - Released by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS)/via wikipedia/original image by Ryan Hagerty
Bos bison (American bison); bull and cow.
Bull and cowBos bison (American bison); bull and cow.Public Domain - Released by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS)/via wikipedia/original image by Ryan Hagerty
Bos bison (American bison); close view of head (cow).
TitleHead
CaptionBos bison (American bison); close view of head (cow).
Copyright©United States Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS)-Midwest/via flickr - original image by Trevor Cyphers/USFWS - CC BY 2.0
Bos bison (American bison); close view of head (cow).
HeadBos bison (American bison); close view of head (cow).©United States Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS)-Midwest/via flickr - original image by Trevor Cyphers/USFWS - CC BY 2.0
Bos bison (American bison); cow and calf. National Bison Range, Montana, USA.
TitleCow and calf
CaptionBos bison (American bison); cow and calf. National Bison Range, Montana, USA.
Copyright©Mike Borgreen/USFWS/via flickr - CC BY 2.0
Bos bison (American bison); cow and calf. National Bison Range, Montana, USA.
Cow and calfBos bison (American bison); cow and calf. National Bison Range, Montana, USA.©Mike Borgreen/USFWS/via flickr - CC BY 2.0
Bos bison (American bison); cows and a suckling calf. Yellowstone NP, Wyoming, USA. May 2016.
TitleCows and a suckling calf
CaptionBos bison (American bison); cows and a suckling calf. Yellowstone NP, Wyoming, USA. May 2016.
Copyright©Frank Schulenburg/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 4.0
Bos bison (American bison); cows and a suckling calf. Yellowstone NP, Wyoming, USA. May 2016.
Cows and a suckling calfBos bison (American bison); cows and a suckling calf. Yellowstone NP, Wyoming, USA. May 2016.©Frank Schulenburg/via wikipedia - CC BY-SA 4.0

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Bos bison Linnaeus, 1758

Preferred Common Name

  • American bison

Other Scientific Names

  • Bison bison Hamilton-Smith, 1827
  • Bison bison athabascae Rhoads, 1898

International Common Names

  • English: American buffalo; bison, American; buffalo, American

Local Common Names

  • Canada: wood bison

DADIS main name

  • Bison

Summary of Invasiveness

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The American bison, Bos bison, is a large mammalian herbivore that was once numbered in the tens of millions and was distributed throughout most of North America, with numbers greatest in the grasslands of the Great Plains.  Overhunting during the 19th century resulted in its near-extinction; bison were recovered largely through captive propagation and restoration of herds in the original range, but a few herds were established outside the original range. Today there are more than 700,000 bison; most are kept on fenced ranges for commercial purposes, and the rest are managed for their conservation value. Two of the herds outside the original range, in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, and on Santa Catalina island, California, are considered to be non-native and are doing damage to natural resources by consuming and trampling native vegetation, and potentially to cultural resources by trampling archaeological sites.  Bison are not on any alert list or considered a regulated pest.  One subspecies of bison, the wood bison (B. bison athabascae) of northern Canada and Alaska, is listed in Appendix II by CITES (CITES, 2015; IUCN, 2015), and as “Threatened” by Canada (IUCN, 2015) and the United States (NatureServe, 2015); the species as a whole is classified as “Near Threatened” in the IUCN Red List (IUCN, 2015).

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Chordata
  •             Subphylum: Vertebrata
  •                 Class: Mammalia
  •                     Order: Artiodactyla
  •                         Suborder: Ruminantia
  •                             Family: Bovidae
  •                                 Genus: Bison
  •                                     Species: Bos bison

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Bison taxonomy has long been a matter of debate (Groves and Grubb, 2011).  Bison were long placed in the genus Bison based on morphological features, but genetic data have revealed that a shift to the genus Bos is warranted, although this revision is not universally accepted (Reynolds et al., 2003; Boyd et al., 2010).  The European bison, or wisent (Bos bonasus), is sufficiently closely related to the American bison that the two have sometimes been considered as subspecies of the same species; however, recent work suggests that they should be separate species (Boyd et al., 2010; Groves and Grubb, 2011).  Two subspecies of American bison are generally recognized, although not without dissent (Reynolds et al., 2003; Boyd et al., 2010):  the wood bison (B. bison athabascae), which ranged from central Canada to Alaska, and the plains bison (B. b. bison), which ranged from central Canada south to northern Mexico.

Description

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B. bison is a large ungulate with brown pelage, characterized by a hump at the shoulders, a large head and short neck, and short, curved horns.  Calves weigh 14-18 kg at birth and grow steadily until reaching adult mass at about 8-10 years of age for males and 5-6 years for females (Reynolds et al., 2003).  Adult males weigh about 600-850 kg and stand 160-190 cm tall at the shoulder, and adult females weigh about 350-550 kg and stand 150-160 cm tall (Reynolds et al., 2003).

Distribution

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Before the near-extinction of the species in the 19th century, its range covered much of North America. More than 700,000 American bison exist today, but 97% of these are privately owned and kept on fenced ranges for commercial purposes or as pets (Reynolds et al., 2003).  These privately-owned bison occur in every state of the United States and every province of Canada, and in other countries as well (National Bison Association, 2015).  The Distribution table in this datasheet lists only “conservation herds”, those herds of bison managed for their conservation value (Gates et al., 2010).

Bison on Santa Catalina Island, California, were introduced in 1924 and are known to be non-native.  The population is managed and so is not spreading or increasing.

Bison at the House Rock State Wildlife Area, Arizona, originated from an attempt to hybridize bison with cattle that began in 1906.  Eventually the herd was sold to the state of Arizona, which managed it for wildlife value.  During the late 1990s the herd began expanding its range into the adjacent Grand Canyon National Park.  There is no historical evidence that bison occurred in the park or surrounding areas, and the National Park Service considers bison to be introduced (Reimondo et al., 2015).  However, there is some disagreement with this classification, based on archaeological evidence, dating to at least 650 years ago, of bovid remains in the general vicinity of the Grand Canyon that have been identified as likely being bison (Martin, 2014).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

North America

CanadaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-AlbertaLocalisedNative Not invasive Gates et al., 2010
-British ColumbiaLocalisedNative Not invasive Gates et al., 2010
-ManitobaLocalisedNative Not invasive Gates et al., 2010Species is native, but subspecies may not be
-Northwest TerritoriesLocalisedNative Not invasive Gates et al., 2010
-SaskatchewanLocalisedNative Not invasive Gates et al., 2010
-Yukon TerritoryLocalisedNative Not invasive Gates et al., 2010
MexicoLocalisedNative Not invasive List et al., 2007
USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-AlaskaLocalisedNative Not invasive Gates et al., 2010
-ArizonaLocalisedIntroduced Invasive Gates et al., 2010
-CaliforniaLocalisedIntroduced Invasive US Fish and Wildlife Service, 2006; Gates et al., 2010Population on Santa Catalina island managed to limit damage and range
-ColoradoLocalisedNative Not invasive Gates et al., 2010
-IdahoLocalisedNative Not invasive Gates et al., 2010
-IowaLocalisedNative Not invasive Gates et al., 2010
-KansasLocalisedNative Not invasive Gates et al., 2010
-KentuckyLocalisedNative Not invasive Gates et al., 2010
-MinnesotaLocalisedNative Not invasive Gates et al., 2010
-MissouriLocalisedNative Not invasive Gates et al., 2010
-MontanaLocalisedNative Not invasive Gates et al., 2010
-NebraskaLocalisedNative Not invasive Gates et al., 2010
-New MexicoLocalisedNative Not invasive List et al., 2007
-North DakotaLocalisedNative Not invasive Gates et al., 2010
-OklahomaLocalisedNative Not invasive Gates et al., 2010
-South DakotaLocalisedNative Not invasive Gates et al., 2010
-TexasLocalisedNative Not invasive Gates et al., 2010
-UtahLocalisedNative Not invasive Gates et al., 2010
-WisconsinLocalisedNative Not invasive Gates et al., 2010
-WyomingLocalisedNative Not invasive Gates et al., 2010

Europe

Russian FederationPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Eastern SiberiaLocalisedIntroduced2006Safronov et al., 2012Introduced to a national park in Yakutia for biodiversity/conservation reasons; closely related bison believed to have been present as a native species until about 2000 years ago

History of Introduction and Spread

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Introductions of bison generally occurred as part of efforts to restore species numbers after near-extinction occurred in the late 19th century.  Numerous bison herds were initiated as a part of this effort; most were established within the original range of the species, but a few were established at locations that were outside the original range, or close enough to the original range that it is debatable whether the species is native or non-native.

Risk of Introduction

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Bison are large animals that are difficult to handle and transport, so the risk of an intentional, surreptitious introduction is low.  However, they have relatively generalized habitat requirements and are highly mobile, so there is a possibility of the introduction of private bison herds that escape captivity outside their original range, or the spread of unconfined, introduced herds.

Habitat

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Historically, bison are known for their large herds occupying the grasslands of the Great Plains of North America, but in smaller numbers they also frequented other habitats that included a substantial component of grass or grass-like species, such as mountain meadows, shrub-steppe habitats west of the Rocky Mountains, and aspen parklands and sedge meadows in Canada.

Habitat List

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CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial-managed
Cultivated / agricultural land Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed grasslands (grazing systems) Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed grasslands (grazing systems) Principal habitat Natural
Terrestrial-natural/semi-natural
Arid regions Principal habitat Natural
Natural forests Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural forests Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Natural grasslands Principal habitat Natural
Riverbanks Principal habitat Natural
Scrub / shrublands Principal habitat Natural

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

B. bison have 2n=60 chromosomes, the same as domestic cattle (Bos taurus), to which they are sufficiently related that they can be hybridized, though only with considerable difficulty; numerous attempts to cross the two species were made during the early 20th century in order to obtain favourable characteristics of both (Hedrick, 2009).  Cross-breeding attempts were eventually abandoned, but the survivors of these attempts were sometimes used to initiate herds during efforts to restore bison numbers.   Recent genetic assays have revealed that most conservation herds of bison show evidence of cattle ancestry (Hedrick, 2009).  Genetic contamination by cattle, along with suspected low levels of genetic variation due to the extreme population bottleneck experienced during the late 19th century, are current concerns (Hedrick, 2009). 

Reproductive Biology

Mating occurs once per year, during late summer or early fall, with breeding occurring later with increasing latitude (Vuren, 1987).  Males defend one female at a time against rival males in a pairing known as a “tending bond” (McHugh, 1958).  Most breeding is done by “prime bulls” from 6 to 9 years old (Reynolds et al., 2003), even though they may not yet have stopped growing at this age.  The gestation period is 9-9.5 months, and calves are born between April and June.  One calf is typical, and twinning is rare.  Not all females reproduce each year; the calving rate (number of calves per adult female) ranges from 62-88% among bison herds within the original range (Reynolds et al., 2003).  In more arid areas, adequate precipitation and subsequent forage growth appear to affect calving rate (Vuren and Bray, 1986); density of the introduced population on Santa Catalina Island, California, is limited by the Mediterranean climate whose dry summers limit availbility of forage in the bison calving season (B. Coblentz, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA, personal communication, 2015).

Physiology and Phenology

Bison are highly adaptable and are able to tolerate a wide variety of climates that range from the arid grasslands of northern Mexico to sedge meadows near the Arctic Circle.  Although known as swift runners on the Great Plains, where they have been clocked exceeding 50 km/hour (McHugh, 1958), they are also readily traverse steep slopes exceeding 30 degrees in montane habitats (Vuren, 2001).

Longevity

The maximum lifespan of the species is unknown.  They are thought to have reached old age by 15 years, although there are reports of bison in captivity living much longer (Reynolds et al., 2003). 

Activity Patterns

B. bison show a diurnal activity pattern of grazing in the morning and afternoon, and resting during the middle of the day.  Night-time activity is not well known.  Historically, some authors believed that bison on the Great Plains exhibited a pattern of latitudinal migration, moving north in the summer and south in the winter, but there is little evidence in support of this belief (Roe, 1970).  There is, however, some support for bison historically showing a regular migration between seasonal ranges (Roe, 1970), and some extant herds show such a pattern.

Population Size and Density

B. bison as a species totals over 700,000 animals, but very few of these bison live in what might be considered a “wild” state. 

Nutrition

B. bison are grazers and primarily eat grasses and sedges.

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
Af - Tropical rainforest climate Tolerated > 60mm precipitation per month
Am - Tropical monsoon climate Tolerated Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Tolerated < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Tolerated < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
BS - Steppe climate Preferred > 430mm and < 860mm annual precipitation
BW - Desert climate Tolerated < 430mm annual precipitation
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Preferred Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)
Df - Continental climate, wet all year Preferred Continental climate, wet all year (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, wet all year)
Ds - Continental climate with dry summer Tolerated Continental climate with dry summer (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, dry summers)
Dw - Continental climate with dry winter Preferred Continental climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, dry winters)
ET - Tundra climate Tolerated Tundra climate (Average temp. of warmest month < 10°C and > 0°C)

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
30-68

Notes on Natural Enemies

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Wolves (Canis lupus) are the only important predator of bison and can be a significant regulating factor for some populations (Reynolds et al., 2003).  Wolves do not occur in localities where bison are considered to be introduced.  Numerous parasites and diseases have been identified in bison (Reynolds et al., 2003), but disease-caused mortality, and resultant population effects, are poorly known.

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Natural Dispersal

Bison are large, mobile animals that can cover long distances, so dispersal outside their original range is a possibility. 

Accidental Introduction

This is unlikely because bison are large and conspicuous.

Intentional Introduction

B. bison have been introduced to numerous locations outside their original range, in the past as part of efforts to restore numbers after near-extinction, and more recently for meat production, as pets, or for other reasons.

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Animal productionCommon, deliberate Yes Yes
Botanical gardens and zoosCommon, deliberate Yes Yes
Hunting, angling, sport or racingOccasional, deliberate Yes Yes
Off-site preservation Common, deliberate Yes Yes

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Cultural/amenity Positive and negative
Economic/livelihood Positive and negative
Environment (generally) Positive and negative

Economic Impact

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B. bison living outside their original range that come into conflict with humans have a negligible economic impact, aside from the cost of control.  Some bison within their original range have caused or might cause economic impacts.  Those in Yellowstone National Park (USA) and Wood Buffalo National Park (Canada) carry either or both of two diseases, brucellosis and tuberculosis (Reynolds et al., 2003); these diseases have the potential to be transmitted to domestic cattle, with important economic impacts if that were to occur.  Bison in Alaska have caused substantial economic losses to grain farmers by consuming and trampling crops (Gipson and McKendrick, 1982).  Bison in in some portions of their range have the potential to be competitors of domestic cattle for forage (Vuren, 2001).

Environmental Impact

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Bison are large herbivores that have a major impact wherever they occur, by consuming and trampling herbaceous vegetation, by their wallowing behavior, by horning or rubbing against woody vegetation, by urination and defaecation, and by seed dispersal (Reynolds et al., 2003).  In general, these impacts are considered desirable in locations managed as natural areas, and bison were a “keystone species” in tallgrass prairie (Knapp et al., 1999) and perhaps other portions of their original range as well. 

However, bison impacts are considered undesirable for herds introduced outside the original range.  On Santa Catalina Island, California, bison impacts include a major reduction in plant cover and plant species diversity, trampling of woody species (Knapp, 2014), and spread of non-native plants (Constible et al., 2005); the population is managed to limit these effects (US Fish and Wildlife Service, 2006). Crushing injuries to garter snakes (Thamnophis hammondii), presumably caused by bison, have also been observed on the island (B. Coblentz, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA, personal communication, 2015).

In Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, bison grazing in wetlands resulted in a 70-90% decrease in vegetative cover, a 25% decrease in vegetation height, and a 40-50% increase in bare soil (Reimondo et al., 2015).

Threatened Species

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Threatened SpeciesConservation StatusWhere ThreatenedMechanismReferencesNotes
Sibara filifolia (Santra Cruz Island Rockcress)USA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesCaliforniaHerbivory/grazing/browsing; Interaction with other invasive species; TramplingUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2006

Social Impact

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In Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, bison are suspected of damaging archaeological sites (Minard, 2003).

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Tolerant of shade
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Gregarious
Impact outcomes
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Infrastructure damage
  • Modification of nutrient regime
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Negatively impacts forestry
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of endangered species
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Pest and disease transmission
  • Herbivory/grazing/browsing
  • Interaction with other invasive species
  • Trampling

Uses

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Economic Value

Most bison live in fenced, privately owned herds that are maintained because of the economic value of bison meat; byproducts such as skulls, horns, skins, and wool also have value (Reynolds et al., 2003).  Several herds are open to public hunting, which brings considerable economic value (Reynolds et al., 2003).

Social Benefit

Because bison are iconic of the American West, bison herds that are accessible to the public are highly valued.  This social value can restrict management actions for exotic herds (Duncan et al., 2013). Bison also have great cultural and spiritual significance for Native American tribes that coexisted with them historically (Reynolds et al., 2003).

Environmental Services

Historically, bison were a keystone component of the Great Plains (Reynolds et al., 2003), but that role is minimal to nonexistent today.

Uses List

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General

  • Botanical garden/zoo
  • Pet/aquarium trade
  • Sociocultural value
  • Souvenirs
  • Sport (hunting, shooting, fishing, racing)

Human food and beverage

  • Meat/fat/offal/blood/bone (whole, cut, fresh, frozen, canned, cured, processed or smoked)

Materials

  • Hair
  • Horn
  • Skins/leather/fur
  • Wool

Prevention and Control

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Options available for controlling non-native bison are limited because of the high sociological value of bison and legal restrictions.  Three main methods have been employed for non-native bison: fencing, live removal, and fertility control.  Fencing can be effective in limiting spread but the approach is costly and can affect non-target species (Minard, 2003); also bison can easily break fences that are not substantial enough (B. Coblentz, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA, personal communication, 2015).  Live removal to reduce numbers requires expensive facilities for capturing, handling, and transporting bison, and is stressful for the bison (Duncan et al., 2013).  Fertility control via immunocontraceptive injection shows promise for reducing bison numbers (Duncan et al., 2013). All three of these methods have been used on Santa Catalina island (Duncan et al., 2013). Hunting has been attempted as a control method in Arizona, but with minimal success; in any case it is prohibited inside the Grand Canyon National Park (D. Van Vuren, University of California Davis, Davis, California, USA, personal communication, 2015; Bullock, 2015).

References

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Boyd DP, Wilson GA, Gates CC, 2010. Taxonomy and nomenclature. In: American bison: status survey and conservation guidelines 2010 [ed. by Gates, C. C. \Freese, C. H. \Gogan, P. J. P. \Kotzman, M.]. Gland, Switzerland: International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, 13-18.

Bullock AM, 2015. How do you solve a problem like the 'Beefalo'? London, UK: British Broadcasting Corporation. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-31661920

CITES, 2015. Appendices. Geneva, Switzerland: CITES. https://cites.org/eng/app/appendices.php

Constible JM, Sweitzer RA, Vuren DH van, Schuyler PT, Knapp DA, 2005. Dispersal of non-native plants by introduced bison in an island ecosystem. Biological Invasions, 7(4):699-709. http://www.springerlink.com/media/99eqac4jng3tnn4c1v5q/contributions/n/v/7/4/nv745xl0n172j707.pdf

Duncan CL, King JL, Kirkpatrick JF, 2013. Romance without responsibilities: the use of the immunocontraceptive porcine zona pellucida to manage free-ranging bison (Bison bison) on Catalina Island, California, USA. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine [Seventh Annual International Conference on Wildlife Fertility Control, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA, 29-31 August 2012.], 44(4, Suppl.):S123-S131.

Gates CC, Freese CH, Gogan PJP, Kotzman M, 2010. American bison: status survey and conservation guidelines 2010. Gland, Switzerland: International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.

Gipson PS, McKendrick JD, 1982. Bison depredation on grain fields in interior Alaska. In: Proceedings of the Fifth Great Plains Wildlife Damage Control Workshop [ed. by Timm, R. M. \Johnson, R. J.]. Lincoln, Nebraska, USA: Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska, 116-121.

Groves C, Grubb P, 2011. Ungulate taxonomy. Baltimore, Maryland, USA: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Hedrick PW, 2009. Conservation genetics and North American bison (Bison bison). Journal of Heredity, 100(4):411-420. http://jhered.oupjournals.org/

IUCN, 2015. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. http://www.iucnredlist.org/

Knapp AK, Blair JM, Briggs JM, Collins SL, Hartnett DC, Johnson LC, Towne EG, 1999. The keystone role of bison in North American tallgrass prairie. Bison increase habitat heterogeneity and alter a broad array of plant, community, and ecosystem processes. BioScience, 49(1):39-50.

Knapp DA, 2014. Ecosystem restoration on Santa Catalina Island: a review of potential approaches and the promise of bottom-up invader management. Monographs of the Western North American Naturalist, 7:421-434.

List R, Ceballos G, Curtin C, Gogan PJP, Pacheco J, Truett J, 2007. Historic distribution and challenges to bison recovery in the Northern Chihuahuan Desert. Conservation Biology, 21(6):1487-1494. http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/loi/cbi

Martin JM, 2014. Late Pleistocene and Holocene bison of Grand Canyon and Colorado Plateau: implications from the use of paleobiology for natural resource management policy. Johnson City, Tennessee, USA: East Tennessee State University. [MS Thesis]

McHugh T, 1958. Social behavior of the American buffalo (Bison bison bison). Zoologica, 43:1-40.

Minard A, 2003. Unwelcome bison may face a DNA test. Science, 299:1835.

National Bison Association, 2015. National Bison Association website. Westminster, Colorado, USA: National Bison Association. http://www.bisoncentral.com/

NatureServe, 2015. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life (Version 7.1). Arlington, Virginia, USA: NatureServe. http://explorer.natureserve.org

Reimondo E, Sisk T, Theimer TC, 2015. Effects of introduced bison on wetlands of the Kaibab Plateau, Arizona. In: The Colorado Plateau VI: science and management at the landscape scale [ed. by Huenneke, L. F. \Riper, C. van, III\Hays-Gilpin, K. A.]. Tucson, Arizona: University of Arizona Press, 120-135.

Reynolds HW, Gates CC, Glaholt RD, 2003. Bison: Bison bison. In: Wild mammals of North America: biology, management, and conservation, second edition [ed. by Feldhamer, \G. A. \Thompson, B. C. \Chapman, J. A.]. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1009-1060.

Roe FG, 1970. The North American buffalo: a critical study of the species in its wild state (second edition). Toronto, Ontario, Canada: University of Toronto Press.

Safronov VM, Smetanin RN, Stepanova VV, 2012. Introduction of the wood bison (Bison bison athabascae Rhoads, 1897) in Central Yakutia. Russian Journal of Biological Invasions, 3(1):34-48. http://www.springerlink.com/content/b15553mt4688nu72/

US Fish and Wildlife Service, 2006. In: Sibara filifolia (Santa Cruz Island Rockcress). 5-Year Review: Summary and Evaluation. US Fish and Wildlife Service, 24 pp.

Vuren D van, 1987. Bison west of the Rocky Mountains: an alternative explanation. Northwest Science, 61:65-69.

Vuren D van, Bray MP, 1986. Population dynamics of bison in the Henry Mountains, Utah. Journal of Mammalogy, 67:503-511.

Vuren DH van, 2001. Spatial relations of American bison (Bison bison) and domestic cattle in a montane environment. Animal Biodiversity and Conservation, 24:117-124.

Contributors

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22/08/2015: Original text by:

Dirk H. Van Vuren, Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA

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