Bison Management 16
These studies have identified that the Wind Cave and Yellowstone National Parks' bison herds do not have any evidence of nuclear or mitochondrial domestic cattle introgression.
These two bison herds were also seen as having high levels of genetic variation compared with other federal bison herds. The 293 bison samples examined from Wind Cave alone contained 74% of the total bison genetic variation (measured by the number of alleles) and had the highest average level of heterozygosity of all the federal populations examined.
The study concluded that the Wind Cave and Yellowstone bison populations should be given conservation priority and maintained in isolation from other bison populations based on their high levels of genetic variation and the absence of detectable domestic cattle introgression.
Did You Know?
Fire is an important factor in protecting the prairie. Historically, fires burned across the prairie every 4 to 7 years. Fires burn the small trees that would otherwise march across the prairie and turn the grasslands to forest.