One year ago 10 American bison were released on northern Colorado public lands. Since then the herd has expanded and there are now healthy animals.
The project has contributed valuable heirloom genetics to two other bison conservation efforts. The goal is to return the iconic species to its native landscape both in northern Colorado and across the country.
The Laramie Foothills Bison Conservation Herd represents the wellspring of heritage genetics found in and around Yellowstone National Park. With help from a scientific workaround it's free from brucellosis, an infectious disease that plagues bison in the Greater Yellowstone Area and typically prevents the animals and their diverse genetics from moving beyond those geographic confines.
PHOTOS: NoCo bison calves
The bison have adapted well to their home at Soapstone Prairie Natural Area and Red Mountain Open Space – proved when six fuzzy bison calves were born unassisted last spring and early summer.
The newborns, three males and three females, arrived just as the American bison was declared national mammal of the United States in May.