July is National Bison Month, and there are many ways you can participate and take action on behalf of this iconic species. This special month may be coming to a close, but luckily you can celebrate bison all year long! Here are some of our favorite ways to do your part and carry on Bison Month throughout the year:
- Educate yourself and help spread the word! Bison once numbered in the tens of millions and were hunted to near extinction at an alarming pace. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of several conservation-minded organizations and individuals, they were saved from extinction and their numbers are now increasing. But while the near-total destruction of bison populations was rapid, the recovery is slow. The tale of the bison is an important reminder of how fragile wildlife populations can be- and how we must act as defenders on their behalf.
- Bison are not just beautiful additions to the landscape, they are an important component of healthy prairie ecosystems. Prairies are disappearing from North America, with very little of its original expanse still intact. By understanding how crucial prairies are to the survival of many species, including bison, you can help ensure that what little prairie remains is protected and support restoration efforts. Check out this article for more information on how bison shape the Northern Great Plains.
- Take a trip to a Minnesota State Park to see wild bison roam! You can see bison grazing the prairies in their natural habitat at Blue Mounds State Park and Minneopa State Park. Your visit helps support bison conservation and the preservation of their habitat.
- Visit the Minnesota Zoo! Bison conservation is a front-and-center issue at the Minnesota Zoo. In partnership with the Minnesota DNR and with significant support from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, we are working hard to reintroduce and maintain healthy and thriving herds of bison across Minnesota. Check out this page to read more! With each visit and membership to the Minnesota Zoo, you are helping support these crucial conservation programs.
Thank you for being a defender of wildlife and doing your part on behalf of our National Mammal!