Sunday, March 23, 2008

Endangered Species Act: Yellowstone Bison

A short post today. Just want to post some links to a couple of stories about issues that I think are very important.

The first of these is found in today's Washington Post, and is titled Since '01, Guarding Species Is Harder and subtitled Endangered Listings Drop Under Bush. As the title infers, it's become incredibly difficult during the Bush Jr. administration to get animals listed as endangered species; policy has been set to purposefully make it difficult. Why? Well, my take on it is that it's good for business, big business. During Bush's tenure thus far, less than 60 species have been listed as endangered. In contrast, during the Clinton and elder Bush's tenures an average of 60 species were listed annually. In the meantime, Bush denied an emergency listing for a sock-eye salmon which has since become extinct, as has a pygmy rabbit that he denied habitat protection.

Today's New York Times runs the story Anger Over Culling of Yellowstone's Bison, about the hunting and slaughterhouse deaths of bison that have wandered out of Yellowstone into "the state of Montana." (Sorry, no link.) When winter snows are heavy in the mountains, the bison migrate into the valley to graze on grass in attempts to stave off starvation; it's then that they are hunted or rounded up for the slaughterhouse by Park employees. What is especially terrible about this slaughter is the increased loss of genetic diversity within the herd; often four generations of females travel together, and the culling essentially wipes out entire families.

(See detroit dog's April 5 post about the Endangered Species Act and Yellowstone Wolves.)


  1. I have a feeling that in the same period the species Homo sapiens has become the most endangered one. I am not quite sure why...

  2. Hi RuneE, thanks for stopping by.

    I agree with you. In fact, I'll have to write an opinion piece on that.


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