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Bizzare & Odd

The time for migration has not yet come, but the buffalo have begun to actively leave Yellowstone

The time for migration has not yet come, but the buffalo have begun to actively leave Yellowstone 1
Yellowstone Buffalo Herd

Mary Greeley posted a video in which she talked about how huge herds of buffalo began to leave Yellowstone. At the same time, the animals leave in an unknown direction, although the time of migration has not yet arrived.

Morgan Jacobsen said that as early as last week, there were approximately 250 bison that were about to leave the park. Small groups of animals were also found outside Yellowstone.

The source of the news is the local newspaper Bozeman Daily Chronicle, which was reprinted by the Associated Press. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle writes the following:

The presence of bison outside of Yellowstone National Park remained low in the final weeks of the bison hunting season in Montana, but annual herd migration and hunting activity have increased recently.

Morgan Jacobsen, spokesman for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle that wildlife managers saw some of the bison leave the park on Thursday. According to him, recently breeding hunters caught two bison – a bull and a cow.

Last week, park officials observed about 250 animals congregating around Roosevelt’s Arch on the edge of the park near Gardiner, Jacobsen said. A group of animals was also seen outside the park.

Several European bison have also been sighted west of the park over the past seven days.

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The Buffalo Field Campaign, a conservation group that advocates ending the annual culling of bison, regularly monitors the movement of bison. The group said on Thursday that at least three bison were caught by hunters since the weekend, and five more were killed in Beatty Gulch on Wednesday.

“However, most of the buffaloes in the pool dodged the bullets and survived,” the group wrote.

Roughly 350 to 370 bison were spotted between Mammoth Hot Springs and the northern border of Yellowstone, and about 70 bison were spotted outside the park on Tuesday, according to Tim Reed, bison program coordinator in Yellowstone.

Buffaloes tend to migrate outside the park in bad weather, he said, but frequent cyclic changes of low and high temperatures this year delay their migration.

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Each winter, Yellowstone bison migrate to the lower elevations outside the park in search of food. Once they leave the boundaries of the park, they can be killed by hunters or trapped at the Stevens Creek capture site near Gardiner. Bison trapped at the facility are either included in the Yellowstone brucellosis quarantine program or are slaughtered.

Tom MacDonald, Wildlife Manager for the Confederate Salish and Kutenai Tribes, said tribal members fished six bison in the West Yellowstone area this winter. Most of them were bulls. The CSKT hunting season ended in January.

Bison migration patterns are slowly changing over time, MacDonald said. 

These changes were likely caused by climate change, the impact of forest fires on the park’s inland habitats, and changing dynamics between the park’s two herds.

The park is home to about 5,000 bison and you cannot hunt them there. There is a special hunting time – from November 15th to February 15th, when the buffaloes arrive in Montana and other states bordering the park. But this winter, something has changed – the bison fled from the park in mid-February, and in unexpectedly large numbers.

Typically, bison will only start migrating if the weather is bad enough. But due to the fact that this year there is a sharp change in weather and temperature, migration is somewhat delayed. Animals go outside the park to find food for themselves.

Something happened this year and the bison started to run in large numbers much earlier than usual. 

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Perhaps the animals have a presentiment of something and are trying to hide from danger. Some experts suggest that the winter may be too cold. Others begin to talk about the possible eruption of Yellowstone and that animals are smarter than people, so they are trying to escape from disaster.


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