Amer­i­can Bi­son de­clared US' Na­tion­alMam­mal

Down to Earth - - THE FORTNIGHT -

US PRES­I­DENT Barack Obama re­cently signed into law the Na­tional Bi­son Legacy Act, which des­ig­nates the Amer­i­can Bi­son the of­fi­cial mam­mal of the United States of Amer­ica. The Act had ear­lier been passed by the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives and Se­nate. It fol­lowed in­tense lob­by­ing by a num­ber of in­ter­est groups, in­clud­ing ranch­ers and Na­tive Amer­i­can tribes. Bi­son once roamed across the Great Plains (then In­dian ter­ri­tory), un­til the west­ward ex­pan­sion of white set­tlers re­duced their num­bers to a few dozen. They made a come­back after in­tense con­ser­va­tion ef­forts, start­ing from the late 1890s. They are now con­sid­ered near threat­ened un­der the IUCN's lat­est Red List.

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