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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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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Wood bison, found in the Yukon, are taller and shaggier than plains bison, with larger shoulder humps and long horns clear of hair. Wood bison evolved as a specific subspecies about five thousand years ago........... The wood bison is heavier than the Plains Bison, with large males weighing over 900 kilograms (2,000 lb), making it the largest terrestrial animal in North America. ............ During and after the last ice age, bison were among the most common large grazing animals in Beringia, the wide, grassy plains that covered parts of the Yukon, Alaska, and Siberia.................By the late 1800'a, the Woods Bison were.decimated by overhunting and habitat modification..............Wood bison were reintroduced to the Yukon twenty years ago, when a small herd from Elk Island National Park were released............... The herd flourished, and the Yukon's wild wood bison population has grown to about 1200, centered around the Aishihik area of southwestern Yukon. While this is above the targeted levels of 500, the wood bison still remain a threatened species in Canada


Yukon's growing wood bison herd continues to elude Yukon hunters, as harvest reports are well below expectations with just three weeks left in the hunting season.
More than 900 bison permits were sold this season in Yukon but harvest reports to date show just 69 animals have been taken.

Environment Yukon biologist Tom Jung says the animals are simply unpredictable.
"One thing that's typical about bison is that every year is a little bit different," he said.
Jung spent the past few weeks radio collaring animals in the herd, and confirms hunter complaints that the bison are hard to find.
He says groups are congregating on snow-free hillsides.
"What we are seeing out there are conditions more typical of early April," he said. "There's not much snow on the ground and a lot of the hilltops are free of snow and unfortunately it's hard for hunters to get up there to get a bison."
Jung says aerial tracking flights Thursday will allow them to map the latest herd locations. That map will be published later this week to guide hunters to their quarry.

The last population census in 2011 showed the herd had grown to 1230 animals.
A new census planned for this summer should confirm whether the herd is still growing. 
A Bison Management Plan for the herd suggests the population should be held to around 1000.

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