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KNAU and Arizona News

Grand Canyon bison removal program ends for 2021

Grand Canyon bison removal
NPS Photo/L. Cisneros
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Bison stand in the holding corral during live capture and transfer operations in August 2021.

Grand Canyon National Park officials say efforts to reduce the population of bison near the North Rim have ended for the year.

They say 36 animals from the Kaibab Plateau herd were removed through live capture and five were killed by volunteer hunters.

In recent years, the herd has grown to about 600 bison that have damaged the park’s water, vegetation, soils and archaeological and cultural sites.

The animals that were live captured were transferred to the Santee Sioux Nation of Nebraska as well as the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma.

The Park Service began the Bison Herd Reduction plan in 2017 with the goal of reducing the numbers to fewer than 200 and to disperse the herd.

The current bison population in the park is about 400.