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The Greater Yellowstone Area is the only remaining large biologically intact temperate ecosystem in North America, comparable in size and diversity to Africa’s Serengeti!Learn More

The American Bison is Now the Nation's National Mammal

Posted On
Jul 21, 2016


The Bison is named the National Mammal

May 8, President Barack Obama signed the National Bison Legacy Act. The act makes the famous Yellowstone Teton Territory resident an official American symbol.

Martin Heinrich, a Democratic Senator from New Mexico, helped the act pass the Senate. In an interview with the Associated Press, he said he hopes the act will help the U.S. Bison population grow.

"I hope that in my lifetime, thanks to a broad coalition of ranchers, wildlife advocates and tribal shortgrass prairies," he said in the interview.

As a new national icon, the American Bison is now on the same pedestal as the bald eagle.

To celebrate the American Bison, here are six interesting facts from the National Wildlife Federation:

  1. They are the largest land animal in North America. Males can weigh up to 2,000 pounds. Females can weigh up to 1,000 pounds.
  2. They are between 6 to 6.5 feet tall and 10 to 12.5 feet long.
  3. The hump is muscle supported by long vertebrae, which helps the bison plow snow with its head
  4. A majority of U.S.-raised bison is livestock on ranches. Approximately 30,000 bison are private and public herds held for conservation.
  5. Natural evidence shows bison have inhabited Yellowstone National Park since prehistoric times.
  6. The bison in Yellowstone are part of the one of the only cattle-gene- free herds in North America.

The American Bison, a prominent resident of our area, is now a national icon. To learn more about the American Bison or to see them in person, visit Yellowstone National Park.

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