|Brett French, Billing Gazette|
Yellowstone's bison population contains 75% of the genetic diversity of the species. They are the only publicly-managed herd that has no cattle genes, which makes them vital in conservation efforts. This comes at the heels of discussion about culling the bison from 4,900 individuals to about 3,500. The Bison's ancestry contains a herd of 22 individuals who survived in the park, plus some bulls from Texas, and 18 individuals form western Montana. Not only that, but there appear to be two distinct herds of bison in the park.
Conservation efforts must focus on how unique these bison are to truly be effective.
A proposed conservation efforts for 2015, with disease management at forefront