BISON IN THE GREATER YELLOWSTONE REGION
EMERGING THREAT TO BISON
While much attention has been focused on diseases in livestock, much less is known about disease threats to animals in the wild. For example, Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep have contracted pneumonia from domestic sheep resulting in up to 90% of die-offs in local herds. Pneumonia is now killing domestic bison and cattle, yet we have no idea if, like the sheep, it will spread to our wild bison.
OUR UNIQUE AND SUSTAINABLE APPROACH
VIEW is currently partnering with local and federal agencies to exam archived blood samples, taken over a 20-year period from 200 bison. Our findings will be the first step in understanding the presence and history of diseases, like pneumonia, that can be transferred between wild and domestic herds.
Our specialized wildlife veterinarians are working with and training local wildlife professionals in the field. This data will further our understanding of current and imminent health risks and be used to proactively develop health management policies and protocols with the goal of minimizing or eliminating any harmful impact to the bison populations.
Specialized wildlife veterinarians teach a series of multi-day workshops that will train wildlife professionals on how to include wildlife health into their conservation efforts.
VIEW contributes GPS collars, mobile necropsy backpacks, ultrasound diagnostics and WHIS (wildlife health information system) to digitally track, analyze and share data on wildlife health trends.
Once a threat or trend has been identified, our findings are presented in paper and conference formats so agencies can benefit from our work and ultimately help preserve bison populations nationwide.