Today, we have an excerpt from our latest book, 101 Travel Bits: Theodore Roosevelt National Park, to share with you. Today's excerpt is from the book's entry on the bison that are a major draw of the
One of the main attractions at Theodore Roosevelt National Park is its large bison herd. Bison (Bison bison), sometimes known as buffalo, are found in the South and North Units of the park. With males weighing in at 2,000 pounds (900 kg) and females a smaller 1,100 pounds (500 kg), bison are the largest land-dwelling mammals in North America. When you see them up close at the park—a common occurrence—their size is impressive.
The bison at the park have not been there forever. Wild bison roamed what would become Theodore Roosevelt National Park until the 1800s, when they went nearly extinct not just in the North Dakota badlands and the future park, but across North America. This remained the situation in 1947 when the park was founded. In 1956, however, 29 bison from Nebraska were brought to the South Unit. The bison thrived at the park, and by 1962, the South Unit population was large enough that 20 of its bison were relocated to the North Unit.
Today, the bison populations in both the South and North Units of the park are thriving. There are so many bison in Theodore Roosevelt National Park that the park requires an active bison management plan to ensure that they do not become too populous and hurt the balance of the park’s ecosystem.
Like this and want more? Pick up your copy of 101 Travel Bits: Theodore Roosevelt National Park at this link.