Over a century of bison conservation in Elk Island National Park

Elk Island National Park

The survival of bison in Canada and their rescue from near-extinction is one of Parks Canada’s greatest success stories. Today, Elk Island National Park continues to be a significant contributor to bison conservation in Canada, and the park’s disease-free bison continue to contribute to populations of plains and wood bison all across North America.

Bison are North America’s largest land mammal. Once, millions of them ranged across the continent from Alaska to Mexico. Bison were an amazing resource for the First Nations people who lived on the plains. However, within a single human lifetime, bison in North America were hunted from the tens of millions to less than a thousand individuals scattered across the continent.

When almost all hope for bison seemed lost, a few people saved the species from extinction. The Canadian government purchased one of the last herds of bison and between 1907 and 1912 shipped over 700 wild bison by train to Elk Island National Park. Bison have found a protected sanctuary at Elk Island for over a hundred years.

Canada’s National Bison Story
The history of bison conservation in Canada
Travelling Bison
Elk Island has sent bison all over the world!
Bison Management
Current bison management practices at Elk Island
Bison Ecology
Bison are a keystone species that effect the ecosystem around them
Bison Frequently Asked Questions
Frequent questions about Elk Island’s bison
Multimedia Gallery
Videos and photos of bison in Elk Island National Park

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