Friday 1 July 2016

American Buffalo

American Buffalo

In the mid 1920's, the American Bison Society disappeared at the same time as the U.S. Post Office issued a stamp honouring the species.  At its peak, pre-1800, the buffalo herd on the Great Plains numbered 60 million.  However, by 1900, their number was reduced to 300.

Images of a buffalo herd being chased off a cliff was immortalized in a painting by Alfred Jacob Miller.  Such was the scene in the latter half of the 1800's once the transcontinental railroad was built. No longer just hunted for their meat, they were hunted for sport.  In 1870, their number sat at 5.5 million, but only 20 years later it had dropped to 500.

In 1894, Yellowstone National Park was the first to offer a sanctuary for the buffalo.  A private citizen from Colorado also offered a reserve for the animals.  No longer on the brink of extinction, as of 2000, the buffalo population had reached 360,000.  Whereas before the buffalo population covered the map of North America, now they dot the map.

Note:  For more information on the near extinction of the buffalo, visit

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