Brett French reports | Study: Yellowstone bison have small amount of cattle genes
By angelamontana

Posted: September 29, 2022

Two recent studies shed more light on bison in North America. One looked at bison genetics and found small amounts of cattle genes even in herds like Yellowstone National Park that were once thought to be genetically pure. The interbreeding came when the animals were nearly wiped out at the end of the 1800s. Cattle ranchers were breeding cows and bison to try and create a tougher cow. Some of those animals helped revive smaller herds, including the few wild bison remaining in Yellowstone. Another study looked at the grazing differences between cattle and bison over 29 years in Kansas. The study showed both animals helped restore native plants to the long-grass prairie, but because of the way bison use the land there were even more native plants that grew compared to cattle. To read more about bison in Yellowstone and the studies, check out my story at


Written by Brett French | Outdoors Editor for the Billings Gazette
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