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Grand Canyon National Park transfers bison to tribes in Oklahoma, South Dakota

Grand Canyon bison
NPS Photo/L. Cisneros
A herd of bison graze in a meadow on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. Nearly 200 of the animals have been transferred to tribal lands elsewhere in the U.S. since officials began the herd reduction plan in 2018.

Wildlife managers at Grand Canyon National Park have relocated 58 bison from the North Rim to tribal lands elsewhere in the U.S.

The animals were transferred by the Intertribal Buffalo Council to the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma and the Cheyanne River Sioux Tribe of South Dakota.

It’s part of a bison reduction program at the Grand Canyon that began in 2018 designed to combat overpopulation and shrink the North Rim herd from about 600 animals to 200.

Officials say the bison have trampled animal habitat, vegetation and archaeological sites.

Since the beginning of the program, almost 200 of the animals have been relocated to eight tribes.

The reduction program includes live capture and removal along with limited hunting.

According to park officials, the most recent bison population estimate showed just over 200 bison in the area.