A developing story was announced at the Montana Stockgrowers Association mid-year meeting that the Yellowstone Bison will likely be listed as an endangered/threatened species. Sources familiar with the matter broke the news to the attendees during an update from a state livestock official.
According to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS) press release, FWS has completed a 90-day finding of three petitions to designate and list a Yellowstone bison Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of the Plains bison (Bison bison bison) in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in portions of Wyoming and Montana as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service finds that the petitions present substantial, credible information indicating that a listing action may be warranted and will initiate a comprehensive status review of the potential DPS to determine if ESA protections are warranted.
The press release goes on to say, “Under the ESA, a DPS is a population of a vertebrate species or subspecies. All three petitions requested that a Yellowstone bison DPS of the Plains bison be designated in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Based on the information provided by petitioners, the Service finds that this may be a listable entity and will further evaluate the validity of the DPS as part of the status assessment.
“The Service finds the petitioners present substantial information that listing the Yellowstone bison DPS as threatened or endangered under the ESA may be warranted. The petitioners presented credible information to indicate potential threats to the DPS from reductions of its range due to loss of migration routes, lack of tolerance for bison outside Yellowstone National Park, and habitat loss. Petitioners also provided information suggesting that regulatory mechanisms (in the form of management actions intended to address disease, provided for in the Interagency Bison Management Plan), overutilization, disease, and loss of genetic diversity may pose further threats. The Service will fully evaluate potential threats as part of the status assessment.”
As mentioned before this is a developing story, so stay tuned to Northern Ag Network’s website for more details.
Northern Ag Network – 2022