1905 founding

In 1905, WCS’s first president William Hornaday, Theodore Roosevelt, and others launched the American Bison Society (ABS), a national campaign to create wild bison reserves. This effort involved using our Bronx Zoo to propagate seed stock.

2005 initiative

In 2005, WCS spearheaded an American Bison Society initiative to help build the social and scientific foundations for the ecological restoration of bison.

Today, bison are absent from most of their former range, and in terms of ecological function, they are losing ground. With our partners, we're developing tools, techniques, and information to further our understanding of bison restoration. We're building communities of practice around these efforts. And we're strengthening outreach, providing education, and informing policy to support bison recovery.

Time is running out. Most bison in North America are held in captivity and managed for meat production. Just a few wild bison herds remain and most of these are small isolated populations facing the gradual loss of genetic diversity. We need to expand existing herds and reintroduce bison to new large landscapes to avoid ecological extinction.

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