AMERICAN BISON - Bison bison

This unusual animal lives in the forest and prairies of North America. Species was exterminated in most of the area, mainly remained in Canada and the United States. The American bison is the national mammal of the United States.

Bison are polygamous animals. Dominant male has a harem of females. Live in big herds that previously were consisting of around 20 000 individuals and now only up to 1000. Bison are migratory and herd migrations can be directional as well as altitudinal in some areas. Bison have usual daily movements between foraging sites during the summer. The summer ranges of bison appear to be influenced by seasonal vegetation changes, interspersion and size of foraging sites, the rut, and the number of biting insects. Gestation is 285 days. Weight of the new-born calf is about 20 kg. Weight of the adult animal might reach 1140 kg and 2 meters high. Life-span is more than 30 years. They feed on herbaceous plants.

Interesting fact: Many indigenous peoples of America depended on bison. Destruction of species caused a decline of Indian tribes. In generally during 19th century due to mass destruction quantity of animals had been decreased from 40 million to 1,000 animals. Nowadays numerous measures are taken to increase quantity of these wonderful animals.

In Kyiv Zoo bison are kept for more than 60 years. They are regularly breeding and feel comfortable.

Author of the text and photos
Maryna Shkvyria, PhD

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