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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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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Many of us are aware that Elk have a higher probability of transmitting the Brucellosis disease to domestic cattle than Bison do..........In fact there is no modern record of a Bison to Cattle transmission of this disease, only the rantings of Ranchers saying that this will happen if Bison are allowed to roam the Western range as they did 200 years ago...............While Bison might get exposed to this disease, few if any test positive for it.................So, "Let the Buffalo roam, the Antelope play and the Wolf do his part to keep all in play"---forever!

Brucellosis in bison greatly exaggerated

July 06, 2015 4:32 pm

There has never been a case of brucellosis transmission from wild bison to cattle in natural conditions. Yet, since 1985, approximately 4,000 bison from the Greater Yellowstone Area have been sent to slaughter. Wild bison seem to have an immunity, and while 45 percent may test serologic positive, meaning they have been exposed, few test positive on a culture screen. Brucellosis cannot survive long in sunlight or heat, drastically reducing exposure potential.

The distribution of cattle around Yellowstone makes exposure a very remote possibility. The time cattle are grazing and bison are grazing outside the park is mostly not coinciding. Only first-time pregnant cows giving birth pose a risk at all if they are actively infected. Predators cleaning up afterbirth further reduces exposure potential. All factors combined reduce exposure potential to practically zero.
There might be other rationales for keeping the Yellowstone bison numbers in check (at 4,000 to 3,000), but brucellosis is not a legitimate one. In Grand Teton National Park, where cattle and bison have coexisted for decades, there has not been a case of transmission. Alternative solutions to bison coming out of the Park to graze is to allow them plenty of areas to do so and to distribute excess bison other places in Montana such as reservations, preserves, open ranges and motivated ranches.
Elk seem to be an emerging problem. Elk feeding grounds and migrations among herds may pose a man-made risk, but a greatly exaggerated one.
Roger Hewitt
Great Falls

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