Yellowstone Holds the Fate of the Buffalo in Their Bloody Hands

Once again, the latest IBMP report came out last Saturday. We bring you our breakdown of the bloody details.

A frost covered buffalo rests in the snow.
  • 30% of the last wild buffalo have been removed from the population. Thirty percent!
  • That is 1,814 beautiful, sacred buffalo who have been killed or are being held captive.
  • 1,158 buffalo have been killed as of March 18th, 2023. This includes 148 killed in the “hunt” in the last two weeks.
Six buffalo heads lay in the grass next to a game sled.
Photo courtesy of Kay Scott Ensley.
  • At least 421 adult females have been killed this season – nearly every one of those females will have been pregnant. That’s nearly 421 calves that will never be born.
  • “Hunters” have killed 36 adult females in just the last two weeks. In mid March. The calves in those mamas’ wombs would have been born in just another month.

Yellowstone has been complaining lately – claiming they have no control over what happens to buffalo once they leave they park – they have been trying to pass the blame and pretend that their hands are clean. Let’s look at how “clean” their hands are…

  • Yellowstone has trapped 781 buffalo at the Stephens Creek Capture Facility inside the park.
  • 88 were shipped to slaughter – of these, 70 were adult females, so that is another nearly 70 calves who will never be born.
  • 282 of the captured buffalo have been sentenced to a life of domestication in the quarantine program. You can call it the “Bison Conservation and Transfer Program” if you want – it still means buffalo who will never be wild again.
  • Of the 781 the Park has trapped, only 34 have been released so far.
  • 374 buffalo are being held in the trap for “release or slaughter”. Yellowstone needs to commit to releasing every single one of those buffalo. Contact Yellowstone now!

This devastating slaughter, combined with natural winterkill, which could be high this year because of the rough winter, puts the survival and the genetics of both herds of buffalo in Yellowstone in danger. The “hunt” has been, and continues to be, an irresponsible slaughter that disregards the very survival of the population. The fact that Yellowstone has captured, slaughtered, and consigned to quarantine another huge group of buffalo only compounds the cost to the herds.

How can those out there doing the bulk of the killing say that they want more buffalo on a larger landscape? How can Yellowstone say the park could host 10,000 plus buffalo while they contribute to removing 30% of the herd? When does it end? When the buffalo are gone?

The buffalo need an END to the killing, a MORATORIUM on hunting until the numbers recover and habitat increases, an END to being treated like livestock, and an END to being “managed” by Montana livestock interests. The buffalo can recover; they can find their way back to their traditional lands. We just need to get out of the way.