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Officials call for removing up to 900 Yellowstone bison this winter

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PHOTO BY JACOB W. FRANK

Federal, tribal and state officials on Wednesday recommended wildlife managers cull between 600 to 900 bison from the 5,450-member Yellowstone Population. The culled bison will be either rounded up for slaughter or shot by hunters as they leave the park. Just under 100 of the bison will be put into the park’s brucellosis quarantine program.

This tentative plan has yet to be signed by Interagency Bison Management with a deadline of Dec. 31, reports the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. The officials recommend focusing on the northern park boundary where the central and northern herds often intermix.

The goal of the culling proposal is to decrease the growing population and decrease the likelihood of disease transmission to between bison herds and livestock. 

Last year, no bison were trapped outside of Gardiner at the North Entrance to Yellowstone due to a late annual migration. Wildlife managers believe the lagged migration was due to fluctuating temperatures last winter. Officials recommended culling between 500 to 700 bison last winter but fell short of that goal by roughly 200, said Cam Sholly, superintendent of Yellowstone National Park to the Chronicle.

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