The bald eagle has served as the symbol of the United States for 234 years. But in May, President Obama signed a bill designating the bison as the country’s official mammal. The eagle has had to share the spotlight symbolically ever since.
The term “buffalo” is another name for the North American bison. It has stood for the West for a very long time. Countless millions of bison once inhabited North America.
The animals played an essential role in the ecosystem of the grasslands where they grazed. And for Native American communities, bison were a source of food, clothing, and shelter. Germaine White told TFK:
“Bison were at the very heart of our traditional way of life,”
She is an education specialist for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes in Montana. Countless millions of bison once inhabited North America. The environment of the grasslands where the animals grazed benefited greatly from their presence. They affected the animals and the vegetation.
View our coverage of some of the high-profile lawsuits that were in the news in the recent past:
- Bowling Green State University Settles Stone Foltz’s Family Hazing Lawsuit
- Metal in Dark Chocolate: A Lawsuit Against Hershey in the United States
Back from the Edge
The mid-1800s saw a change in that manner of life. Settlers started moving west. They went bison hunting. For the same reasons as Native Americans, some people hunted. However, some people murdered bison for fun.
The killing of bison was made banned in 1894. However, it was nearly too late. Less than 1,000 wild bison survived on the plains by the early 1900s. Conservationists recognized the necessity to conserve the creatures.
The American Bison Society was established by President Theodore Roosevelt, William Hornaday, the first director of the Bronx Zoo in New York City, and other individuals. The team wanted to bring the bison back.
Private individuals and Native American groups joined the conflict. Bison were no longer in danger of going extinct by the middle of the 1930s. Pat Thomas.
“The bison is America’s first real conservation success story,”
He is vice president of the Wildlife Conservation Society and associate director of the Bronx Zoo. There are currently roughly 500,000 bison in North America.
They are a nationwide population. However, the majority of them do not reside in the same kinds of wild herds that once roamed the nation.
See the tweet below:
Do you know where the buffalo roam? pic.twitter.com/SZSiFABd2y
— Oroborum (@Oroborum) June 17, 2020
Instead, they reside on ranches or pastures that are protected. Zoos house some of them. More bison are being released into the wild through ongoing efforts.
Thomas says that naming the bison the national mammal was essential in ensuring the animal is protected for future generations. White agrees.
“This recognition is beginning to complete the circle,” she says, “from when there were millions of wild bison, to when bison were hunted to extinction, to the beginning of the recovery.”
We value your time and interest and trust that you will find this content interesting. Please leave your thoughts about our camp in the comments box. It will help us out a lot. If you want to stay abreast of the most recent developments in the news, follow our official Twitter page.