Visitor Center Open
Construction crews are replacing the parking lot in front of the visitor center. Please follow the signs, park in the side lot, and use the side doors. The Ben Reifel Visitor Center remains open every day from 8 am to 4 pm.
Another Successful Bison Roundup at Badlands National Park
Contact: Julie Johndreau, (605) 433-5242
BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK, S.D. — The bison roundup at Badlands National Park was a resounding success for all parties involved. For the third year in a row, local ranchers and park employees worked together riding horseback through the Badlands Wilderness to safely gather the bison. Park employees and veterinarians processed the bison through a corral system at an incredibly fast, safe, and efficient rate. In just four days, 657 bison were tested for disease and genetic analysis. Pertinent population statistics were logged into a database tracking system.
The ever increasing bison population at Badlands NP was just too large for the park area to support, so 278 animals were culled. Indian Tribes in six states benefited by receiving these animals through an agreement with the Intertribal Bison Cooperative. Badlands bison were sent to distant new homes in WA, NM, ND, and OK. Both the Santee Sioux and the Oglala Sioux Tribes of SD received some of these bison. "What an incredibly fun and rewarding experience" said park superintendent Dr. Paige Baker. "We were able to do our job of managing the park resources while at the same time involving the community and our Tribal partners."
School children from Wall, Interior, and Philip attended the roundup to learn about wildlife biology and the prairie ecosystem. The Badlands Buffalo Roundup has greatly increased park manager’s ability to conduct a scientifically sound herd reduction program that preserves the genetic variability and appropriate age and sex distribution of the population.
Did You Know?
The badlands are some of the fastest eroding landscapes on earth with erosion rates averaging 1” per year in their fragile layers. However, in areas where sandstone is found, the erosion rate may be 1” in 500 years. Often, toadstools form when surrounding sediments erode beneath a sandstone caprock.