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- Beginning around 5,000 years ago, Bison bison occupied grasslands and parklands of central United States and Canada.
- Wood Bison (B. b. athabascae) mainly inhabited western forests of Canada to eastern Alaska.
- Plains Bison (B. b. bison) in general occupied territories to the south of the Wood Bison, south across the United States to northern Mexico.
- By around 2,000 years ago Bison bison reached its maximum range. (Meagher 1986)
- When modern Europeans arrived in North America, an estimated 50 million bison inhabited the continent. (Nowak 1999)
- By 1903, fewer than 2,000 were known to survive in zoos and private collections, plus isolated wild populations in Canada and the United Sates.
- Occur today in geographically isolated populations in parks and preserves.
- Largest free-ranging populations:
- In Canada (Mackenzie Sanctuary, Wood Buffalo National Park and Slave River lowlands)
- In the United States (Yellowstone National Park)
American Wood Bison
American Plains Bison
- More open grasslands, mainly in the central U.S.
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Fact Sheet Index
Fact sheet index, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Library
Home page, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Library
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