Listen To It!
Mass: 319 - 900 kg
Length: to 12 ft. (3.7 m)
Biomes: taiga, temperate forest & rainforest, temperate grassland
Status: endangered. Bison are listed under CITES - Appendix I, and the sub species B.b. athabascae is listed as endangered by the U.S. ESA (Honacki, 1982).
Range: At one time, bison were widespread from Alaska to northern Mexico (Meagher, 1986). Now bison have been exterminated in the wild except in Yellowstone Park in Wyoming and Wood Buffalo Park, Northwest Territory, Canada (Honacki, 1982).
The body of the bison is huge, ranging in length from 3.6 m to 3.8 m in males to 2.13 m to 3.18 m in females. They are also tall animals, with the height at the shoulder ranging from 1.67 m to 1.86 m for males and 1.52 m to 1.57 m in females. Two distinctive features of the bisons are the shoulder hump and their huge head. The color of the bison is brown, is longer in the front than in the rear of the bison. The distinction between hair length is more noticeable in males than females. The horns of the bison are black, and they curve upward and inward, ending in a sharp tip. The legs of the bison are short but firm. The hooves are black and are circular in shape (Meagher, 1986).
Originally, bison were found primarily in and at the fringes of open prairie (Bart, 1957). Now, however, because of their limited numbers, bison are found in many fewer habitats and their movements are very controlled. Within the national parks bison are found at all elevations (Meagher, 1986).
Rounded tracks are 4 - 5 in. (10 - 13 cm.) across. The bison does not have dew claws.