Fermilab bullish on bison

Two new bull bison joined the Fermilab herd on Monday, Nov. 19. They came from Nachusa Grasslands, a restoration project operated by The Nature Conservancy and located near Franklin Grove, Illinois. The two-and-a-half-year-old bulls will introduce new genetic lines to the herd of Fermilab bison during the next breeding season.

The herds at Fermilab and Nachusa have been tested and found to contain no evidence of cattle genes in the mitochondrial or nuclear DNA. Domestic cattle genes have been found in many bison, reducing the pool of bison available for preserving the species to fewer than 15,000 animals scattered across national parks and preserves in the United States.

The two new bulls are standing in the foreground. Photo: Reidar Hahn