Bison go where the buffalo roam

  • Wild Chronicles heads to North America, where bison are on the verge of genetic extinction.

    Most remaining bison herds have been genetically enhanced with cattle genes, and there may be only one healthy, purebred herd left in the world. But conservationists from World Wildlife Fund have a plan to save the last of the purebreds and bring the greatest symbol of the West back to the plains.

    1. Early European explorers describe the landscape as "blackened" with herds of bison. How many bison roamed the plains in the early 1800s?

      When Americans started moving west, there were as many as 40 million bison.

    2. What is the current bison population?

      About 500,000 bison are alive today.

    3. There may be only one purebred herd of bison remaining. In what U.S. state is this herd located?

      The herd lives in Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota.

    4. Conservationists hope to start a new purebred herd in what U.S. state?

      The World Wildlife Fund and the American Prairie Restoration Project are hoping to start a new herd in Montana.

    5. When was the last time bison roamed free on the prairie?

      As one onlooker noted at the end of the video, the last bison were seen on the Montana prairie in 1885.

  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    bison Noun

    large mammal native to North America. Also called American buffalo.

    cattle Noun

    cows and oxen.

    conservationist Noun

    person who works to preserve natural habitats.

    extinction Noun

    process of complete disappearance of a species from Earth.

    gene Noun

    part of DNA that is the basic unit of heredity.

    genetic Adjective

    having to do with genes, inherited characteristics or heredity.

    herd Noun

    group of animals.

    plain Noun

    flat, smooth area at a low elevation.

    Encyclopedic Entry: plain
    symbol Noun

    something used to represent something else.