The American bison is our national mammal and a symbol of the Department of the Interior. Rugged and resilient, bison are surprisingly agile, able to jump fences and run up to 35 miles an hour. Recovering from near extinction, 17 bison herds can be found on public lands across the West. They are a wonder to see in the wild and we’re proud to feature them on National Bison Day. Photo of bison at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming courtesy of Travis O’Brien.
Reflect on this. From an estimated population of almost 60 million animals roaming throughout North America, bison reached a low of 100 in the wild in the late 1800s. Established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908, the National Bison Range in Montana has played an important role in the successful recovery of these magnificent animals. Mostly rolling grasslands, the range is framed by mountain ranges and spotted with wildlife including elk, deer, pronghorn and bighorn sheep as well as coyotes, mountain lions, bears, bobcats, over 200 species of birds and of course, majestic bison. Photo by Dave Fitzpatrick, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.