Home on the Range

Bison are much more than America's largest land mammal. They are an essential part of American history and embody the strong and resilient characteristics of the American people - so much so that they were designated as our National Mammal in 2016. Once numbering ~30 million and ranging across the United States and in Canada and Mexico, bison were hunted to near extinction, with only several hundred remaining by the 1870’s. Through ongoing conservation work, bison are recovering from a low of fewer than 1,000 individuals. Today, 19 herds in 12 states roam the American Plains.

Explore this website to learn more about bison, where you can see these majestic animals, and what the National Park Service is doing to protect them.

Bison at the National Bison Range

Bison Conservation Initiative

Learn about the Department of the Interior's Bison Conservation Initiative

A bison grazing in a field of yellow flowers

The Bison and the Butterfly

Bison provide many services for the ecosystems and creatures they interact with - including a small, endangered butterfly!

Last updated: May 7, 2020