Judge Gives Yellowstone Bison Second Chance For Endangered Species Protections

as published on Wyoming Public Media

A federal judge ordered the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reconsider its decision to deny Endangered Species Act protections for the Yellowstone bison.

The service initially concluded there was not enough evidence that the buffalo needed protection under the Endangered Species Act back in 2015. A study by Natalie Halbert, a research assistant at Texas A&M, showed current management techniques for the mammal are harmful and would benefit from the Endangered Species Act protections.

Currently, bison are managed as one herd. But Josh Osher, Montana director for Western Watersheds Project, said studies show they should be managed as two distinct herds. One of the studies was done by Natalie Halbert, through Texas A&M.

“Halbert’s findings suggested that management approach can endanger the genetic integrity of one or both of those subpopulations,” said Osher.

The judge ruled this week that the service must thoroughly consider all scientific evidence, including Halbert’s study. Now U.S. Fish and Wildlife service must redo their original 90-day finding blocking protections.

“Unless the Fish and Wildlife Service can say somehow the Halbert study is an error and not appropriate to be used for consideration,” said Osher, “then the Fish and Wildlife will have to find that bison may be warranted for listing and move on to their more stringent 12-month review.”

Conservationists are hoping this a right step towards adding the mammal to the endangered species list.


6 replies »

  1. History will repeat itself until we say otherwise LOUD ENOUGH not for the deaf to hear but LOUD enough for the Hardened hearts too. Turning a blind eye or a deafened ear to these issues is ludicrous given the impaired can sense much better than those who have no impairments, So We Need to get LOUD Enough that those hardened Agencies have no choice. But say it Really LOUD because all the Forrest Service hears is Propaganda…….so make sure we are putting up lawsuits and fighting on every front. These animals and so many more are not just endangered but they are labeled unwanted as if that makes them eligible for death. We have so much to so to prevent this. I find myself fighting through propaganda daily and it’s a serious problem.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Heard this from the Buffalo Field Campaign a few days ago – finally, something going the right way. The Central Herd numbered 3,500 in 2005 – its now down to less than a thousand. The way they are “culled” (slaughtered) sounds too much like it was hundreds of years ago when they were almost eradicated. This type of “management” needs to stop.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Even having some success here & there! But its hard to read the descriptions of the buffalo leaving the safe areas & running the gauntlet of “hunters”. You know? Just like reading about the roundups and the destruction of families and lives! I look around & see so many of our wild animals being pushed off their habitats & treated as if they don’t matter – when their lives are as important (in some cases, more so) than humans. As if their lives don’t matter.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wild horse HERDS are also eligible for listing as non game distinct population segments and designation of ACECs for extended habitat. This is information OUR elected representative are not considering as an option to euthanasia, sale, and slaughter. The information that can re wild warehoused “protected” species removed as “excess”

    From: Miner, Karen@Wildlife [mailto:Karen.Miner@wildlife.ca.gov]
    Sent: Thursday, March 03, 2016 4:18 PM
    To: Kathleen Hayden
    Subject: RE: CA data base of special concern mammals.

    When and if available scientific information convinces the experts that determine the checklist of native species to North America that Equus caballus should be considered as an indigenous species, they will make the change in the next revision to the list, and then we would take that fact into consideration for inclusion on our state animal lists.
    Karen Miner


    • There already IS “available” scientific information – so how long does it take before these experts determine that Equus caballus is an indigenous species? There certainly has been much research & info regarding this – but it appears no “expert” is looking for it.


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