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HomeNewsBanff National Park considers next steps for bison herd reintroduced into backcountry

Banff National Park considers next steps for bison herd reintroduced into backcountry

Plains bison are shown in Banff National Park in a handout photo taken by a Parks Canada remote camera. Officials are trying to determine what's next for the herd after a draft report shows its reintroduction in the park's backcountry has been successful.Plains bison are shown in Banff National Park in a handout photo taken by a Parks Canada remote camera. Officials are trying to determine what's next for the herd after a draft report shows its reintroduction in the park's backcountry has been successful.

BANFF, Alta. – Parks Canada officers are attempting to find out what’s subsequent for a herd of plains bisonin Banff Nationwide Park after a draft report reveals its reintroduction within the park’s backcountry has been profitable.

The report on a five-year venture, revealed on-line earlier this week, says the bison herd within the nationwide park in Albertahas grown to greater than 80 animals from the 16 that had been relocated in 2017 from Elk Island Nationwide Park close to Edmonton.

You are reading: Banff National Park considers next steps for bison herd reintroduced into backcountry

Parks Canada declined an interview request, however the report on the venture says it has labored.

“The five-year pilot represents the latest efforts of Parks Canada in supporting the restoration of plains bison and has recognized that Banff Nationwide Park is a possible location the place bison can efficiently exist on the panorama,” it says.

“With these optimistic findings, it’s endorsed bison stay on the panorama within the space in a managed and measured type.”

The report says the bison have remained wholesome and demonstrated an excellent progress price with minimal deaths, tailored effectively to the mountain habitat and remained largely inside the park boundaries.

Three bull bison wandered out of the park in the summertime of 2018, after the animals had been allowed to roam wild. A type of animals was shot by wildlife workers outdoors the park, whereas the opposite two had been taken to fenced paddocks in Waterton Lakes Nationwide Park and Rocky Mountain Home Historic Web site. The report says a fourth bull wandered out of the park in 2021 and was additionally killedby wildlife workers. Two calves died of pure causes in 2019 and 2020, it says.

No different animals within the park had been negatively affected and there have been no experiences of threats to public security or property injury, the report says.

It provides that the venture has strengthened relationships with a number of First Nations that has included ceremonies to bless the animals, in addition to annual girls’s and youth hikes to see the herd.

The venture has additionally supplied some academic packages for guests to find out about bison each on-line and in particular person.

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Parks Canada is taking suggestions from the general public, together with Indigenous communities, till Dec. 14 on what they consider the venture to find out its subsequent steps.

“It’s anticipated that along with this report, engagement on the report will set the stage for bison administration for the subsequent 10 years and past,” says the draft report.

Marie-Eve Marchand, who was a part of the Bison Belong marketing campaign to convey the animals again to Banff and organizes the Indigenous hikes to see the herd, stated it’s an excellent report.

“It’s stunning to see what giving some house to the bison and giving them 5 years to determine their house (has completed),” she stated Friday. “There are such a lot of positives, even in such a brief interval.

“They’re there to remain.”

Marchand stated one of many subsequent steps ought to take into account a shared duty for the herd with Indigenous communities.

“There’s a number of place to develop in relationship and studying,” she stated.

Diandra Bruised Head, a member of the Kainai Nation who’s gone on the ladies’s hike to see the bison, stated she’s completely happy to listen to the venture has been profitable.

“I’m immensely proud however I’m not shocked,” she stated in an interview.

Bruised Head stated bison — or buffalo, as they’re historically identified by Indigenous individuals — are an ideal instance of how western science will be balanced with conventional information.

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“That is extra than simply placing animals again,” she stated. “Buffalo, to me … are an indication of hope.”

An Indigenous-led report launched in April stated counting on conventional information might assist to make sure the continued success of the bison within the park.

The Stoney Nakoda Nation, east of Banff, did a cultural evaluation on the bison as an necessary species to Indigenous individuals.

A workforce labored with elders, information keepers and youth to get a greater understanding of bison habitat, behaviour and practices from an Indigenous perspective. It discovered the bison helped Stoney Nakoda individuals reconnect to their conventional lands, migration routes, tenting websites, and searching and gathering websites inside the park.

The Indigenous report included 11 suggestions to make sure the continued success of the venture and for co-operative administration of the bison herd.

These included persevering with this system after the pilot venture, holding ceremony with First Nations at the beginning of every new part and permitting cultural monitoring fieldwork to proceed.

Stoney Nakoda Nation additionally urged enlargement of the reintroduction zone to incorporate the remainder of the park and requested that the park permit First Nations to reap animals as soon as the herd grows too massive.

This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed Nov. 11, 2022.

— By Colette Derworiz in Calgary

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