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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Friday, May 4, 2012

The northern relative of the Plains Bision, The Woods Bison has been reclassified by the USFW from endangered to threatened,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,as there are now 7 free roaming herds in Canada............At some point, Alaska will also get the green light to create a free roaming herd(a captive herd has existed for years) ...........The most recent skeletal remains of wood bison in Alaska are estimated to be about 170 years old, based on radiocarbon dating........... The last reported sightings of wood bison in Alaska were in the early 1900's..........Historic accounts from Native Elders indicate that wood bison were a resource for native peoples as recently as 200 years ago

Agency Downgrades Wood Bison to 'Threatened'

WASHINGTON (CN) - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has reclassified the wood bison, a Canadian relative of the American plains bison, from "endangered" to "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act.

       There are no free-range herds of wood bison in the United States, so their recovery status in the wild has been tied to their progress under the Canadian National Wood Bison Recovery Plan.
The downgrade is based on the USFWS finding that the number of bison in disease-free herds in Canada far exceeds the baseline identified in the recovery plan that signals the species is moving to sustainability.

       The plan called for the creation of at least four disease-free herds of 400 individuals. By 2000, there were seven disease free herds totaling over 4,400 individuals, up from the low of just one herd with 300 individuals, in 1978.

       There are so many wood bison in Canadian herds that Canada allows controlled hunting of animals. In April, four U.S. hunters won the right to import the trophy heads of wood bison they had killed in Canada, over the objections of the USFWS.

       Both the wood bison and plains bison were hunted nearly to extinction by the end of the 19th century, and recovery efforts for both have been hampered by curtailment of their historic range, disease, and the intermingling of genetic stock with domesticated cattle.

       The male wood bison is the largest terrestrial animal in North America, weighing over 2,000 pounds.

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