I have a big soft spot for bison. You can see hundreds of them at any point in Yellowstone, and every summer, to Simon’s dismay, I pause by a herd of these large boys. We are almost always en route to a bear or otter and Simon begs me to continue on since we will be guaranteed to see them every 5 minutes. I just can’t get enough of them.
A good friend of ours has been working tirelessly on getting bison back into Banff National Park. She is involved in an initiative called Bison Belong that is hoping to bring this anchor species back into the Banff ecosystem.
Bison are also considered a keystone species in their natural habitat and they play an important ecological role where they live. Bison are vegetarian and their grazing activities not only increased nutrient levels in the soil, they also help plant diversity, dispersal of seeds, improve the quality of nesting for many prairies birds and they are great landscape engineer. They create ephemeral pools, which in spring after snow melt or after rainstorms keep standing water in wallows for many days providing important habitat for toads and wetland plant species.
– Bison Belong
Please visit Bison Belong to learn more, like them on facebook and if you are in the Banff area, be sure to purchase Homeward Bison Pale Ale from Banff Ave Brewing Co., they donate $1 from every bottle sold to Bison Belong.