For the sixth time since the exchange was established, 28 Yellowstone National Park bison were shipped to the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation on Wednesday.
The Bison Conservation Transfer Program allows the park to divert bison that have passed quarantine to the tribe. The quarantine ensures the animals are free of the disease brucellosis. The final phase of the quarantine process takes place on the reservation, after which the animals can be distributed to other Indian nations.
“This program has made incredible strides in the cultural and ecological restoration of bison across the country,” said Chamois Andersen, senior Rockies and Plains representative at Defenders of Wildlife, in a statement. Defenders has been a partner in the quarantine and transfer program.
Twenty-eight Yellowstone National Park bison are trucked from the Stephen’s Creek capture facility on Wednesday.
Jacob W. Frank, NPS
In partnering with the InterTribal Buffalo Council, the park and reservation have moved almost 182 bison to the reservation. From there, 82 animals have been distributed to 18 tribal nations in 10 states,