Field Campaign, Western Watersheds Project and Friends of Anima file lawsuit against the government officials to protect the Yellowstone bison. This comes after the decision of the officials that the bison is not an endangered species. They claim that even though the United States had millions of wild bison, there are only 30 000 left and the situation is getting worse every year. In the future, there could be no bison if the authorities do not make a change.
According to the groups, the Yellowstone bison population has been reduced because people are hunting these animals. Numbers show that at least 1 000 bison are killed every year. For example, during 2007-2008 people killed 1 716 of these animals. Hunting is not the only problem. There are other human activities, such as farming, which makes the groups believes that bison are endangered. As long as they are not considered threatened, they are not under the protection of the authorities.
The groups said that the Yellowstone bison are “the last remaining population of genetically intact bison in North America”. Moreover, they still migrate, which do not happen anymore to the most living populations in the United States. It seems that even the authorities are killing bison to prevent the spread of brucellosis, there was not any case of this disease in the past few years. Brucellosis can be also spread by elk, but the government does not seem to take into consideration this fact. While some species are walking free, Yellowstone bison are killed without a second thought.
The defendants in the lawsuit are the Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its director Daniel Ashe. The groups think that the government should take into consideration the Endangered Species Act and list the bison as an endangered species. They are also demanding the issue to be solved in 60 days.
According to them, the Yellowstone bison have a unique genetic makeup and they should be protected by law., not killed without a real reason. The Yellowstone bison have a main part in the region for Native American people. They hope that they will manage to stop the government plans to kill the bison. What do you think about this issue? Are the groups right to demand protection?
Image source: Public domain image