American Bison

(Bison bison)


Plains and woodlands, foraging in grassland and meadow communities.


Status: Near Threatened

American Bison are dependent on an ongoing conservation program.


Current Threats

Crossbreeding with cattle (thought to create healthier meat and more resilient animals) has polluted most remaining wild herds of bison, and increased exposure to deadly cattle diseases. Habitat loss also results in little space for Bison to develop large, genetically diverse herds.


Oakland Zoo's Role

Oakland Zoo has partnered with the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York and the Blackfeet Indian Nation in Montana to restore a wild herd of American bison to their native territory.


How Can You Help?

• Learn about and support restoration of prairie ecosystems.

• Advocate with the federally-managed Bison conservation program for larger open spaces for true wild bison.

• Visit and support national parks that protect Bison, such as Yellowstone (Wyoming) and Wind Cave (South Dakota).



{ Animal Profile }