The bison of North America are culturally significant to several Native American tribes, an icon of the American West, and the thundering mascot run at the beginning of every home football game in my hometown for my favorite team. While they once roamed the west in gigantic numbers, few wild herds remain. Conservationists have longed to reintroduce wild bison to northern Colorado and with the help of researchers at Colorado State University (CSU) a herd of purebred, disease free, american bison will be released on November 1st, 2015, National Bison Day and the first day of Native American Heritage month.
The seed herd, offspring of the native Yellowstone herd, are the product of years of assisted reproductive technologies developed at CSU that have long been used in livestock and equine reproduction for difficult breeders, conservation, and disease control. Specific techniques include in vitro fertilization, embryo transfer, and egg “washing” to keep the line pathogen free.
While the new pure herd will only consist of a dozen bison, “This bison reintroduction project has the potential to fulfill many needs and interests, and we’re really pleased to contribute,” said Dr. Mark Stetter, a wildlife veterinarian and dean of the CSU College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Click below to read more on this amazing and important conservation project.