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Bison group successfully relocated from Grand Canyon North Rim, meeting multi-year goal

Wildlife managers with the Grand Canyon National Park relocated 58 bison from the North Rim, accomplishing a 4-year project to reduce overpopulation.

ARIZONA, USA — In a 'moo'-ving success story, a group of 58 bison was successfully relocated from the Grand Canyon North Rim into the care of the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe of South Dakota.

It marks the success of a multi-year plan to ease the overpopulation of bison on the North Rim of the park.

It's part of a collaboration between the Grand Canyon National Park and the InterTribal Buffalo Council to reduce overpopulation at the park and replenish bison population in threatened areas.

The bison were moved back on Sept. 11 through live capture and transfer, minimizing lethal removal, park officials said.

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Since the reduction began in 2018, park staff have removed 203 bison from the area, with 182 given to eight different American Indian tribes through an agreement with the InterTribal Buffalo Council.

This latest removal puts the program on track to meet its goal of reducing the North Rim herd size from 600 bison to 200. As of the 2021-2022 winter season, the herd was estimated at 216 heads of bison according to park officials.

Grand Canyon managers thanked the InterTribal Buffalo Council, AZGFD, USGS-Fort Collins Science Center, U.S. Forest Service, and the NPS Office of Public Health for their involvement in the relocation project. 

You can read more about the full removal plan here.

Credit: NPS Photo/L. Cisneros
A herd of bison in a meadow on the North Rim of Grand Canyon.

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