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Four-Legged Ecosystem Engineering

 

 

The Reserve’s bison herd turns ten years old this year, and a decade of bison restoration has meant positive changes to the land and for other creatures. Wallows have returned and serve as mini wetlands, plant communities shaped by the herd’s unique grazing patterns are better hosts to grassland birds, and volunteer groups have removed miles of fence to open up the prairie for bison, pronghorn, deer, and elk.

As the herd charges through winter unfazed by sub-zero temperatures and blowing snow, another milestone is on the horizon, patiently waiting for spring. The calves born on American Prairie Reserve this year should grow the herd to more than 500 animals! In case you needed motivation, you now have 500 reasons to experience this landscape like never before by planning your trip in 2015.

Photo by Dennis Lingohr