Return of the American Buffalo: How Bison Made a Comeback From Near-Extinction

The American Bison - otherwise known as Buffalo - are powerful, majestic, huge mammals that roam the plains of North America. 

They are the National Mammal of the United States, and also the largest mammal on the continent. 

At one point in recent history, the Great American Bison stood at the brink of extinction. How they managed to make a come-back is an incredible story. 

We recommend you watch the video version of this post by clicking HERE now. 

You can also download our audio-only podcast by clicking the download button above. 

Let’s jump into the story: 

Dancing With Extinction

Prior to the 1800’s, more than 60 million bison roamed the plains of North America. 

However, by the end of the 19th century, there were fewer than 600 buffalo. You read that right - the number of buffalo were count-able and there were but a few left. 

The massacre of the American bison population were due to a few factors: 

First, their lands were often taken over by settlers that wanted to use the land for agriculture purposes. When buffalo came near, they were simply slaughtered to keep them away. 

Bison were also a great source of food and resources, so anytime a bison came onto one’s territory, it was easy food and resources, if you could kill it. 

Oppressive levels of hunting completely wiped out the bison. In fact, settlers often slaughtered the bison just to keep native populations away. 

Bison were an excellent food source for Native American populations, so the excessive hunting of the bison was one way that settlers could force the Native Americans away. 

Without traditional food sources available, Native Americans - like the Bison - were forced to move further and further away from the settlers taking over land and territory! 

Resurgence: The Great Comeback of American Bison

Some former bison hunters, including prominent figures like William 'Buffalo Bill' Cody and future President Theodore Roosevelt, gathered the few surviving bison, promoted captive breeding and eventually reintroduced them to the natural landscape.

It had become clear to William ‘Buffalo Bill’ Cody in some of his hunts that the buffalo species was not to survive the continued hunting and exploitation of these animals. 

There were 5 primary Herds from which nearly all buffalo today came from: 

The McKay-Alloway Herd, Charles Goodnight Herd, Walking Coyote Herd, Frederick Dupree Herd, Charles “Buffalo” Jones Herd. 

Between these 5 primary herds and special lands set up to be protected and allow the buffalo populations to regrow, bison would soon make an epic come-back. 

By the 1920’s, bison populations had gone from under 600 to numbering around 12,000! 

By the early 2000’s, the total North American bison population numbered around 500,000. 

Around 90% of these bison are raised as livestock, but they are raised in mostly natural conditions rather than inhumane farms like other wildlife. 

The remaining 10% or so of buffalo populations can be found in public parks and preserves. 

This opportunity has allowed scientists to study buffalo more closely, and one of the great discoveries found is that buffalo actually have a very positive impact on the environment & nature. 

For example, they can allow more diverse and higher quality vegetation to grow, and help damaged areas grow back faster. 

Wildlife & Pest Infestation

Humanity has built concrete jungles and wonderful suburbs next to these beautiful parks and nature preserves. 

As beautiful as nature is, the comforts of a nice home tend to suit the human better. 

If you think that you have a wildlife or pest infestation problem, please call us at 855-WILDLIFE or visit

Whenever possible, we humanely capture the wild creatures and return them to the wild where they belong so that you and the creature can continue on in peace. 

Wildlife/pest infestation places you and your family at health risks, as well as financial risks as the creatures tend to leave significant damage on your home. 

Again, give us a call at 855-WILDLIFE or visit for more information. 

-Wildlife x Team International 

Submit a Comment

* Required Field
  • Pest X Team Logo
  • Junk X Team Logo
  • X Team Services Logo
  • X Team Bird Control Logo
  • Gutter X Team Logo
  • Mosquito X Team Logo
As Featured on These Networks & Affiliates
  • Apple News Logo
  • Fox Logo
  • Elite Service Logo
  • National Pest Management Association Logo
  • NWCOA Logo
  • If you have raccoons in your attic, garage, or other areas of your home, call Wildlife X Team® at (817) 431-3007 today! Wildlife X Team are experts in raccoon removal and exclusion services.
  • Squirrel problems are rampant nationally. Squirrels can cause extensive damage in and around homes, including soiling floors and walls. Squirrels don't stand a chance against Wildlife X Team®'s trained professional staff.
  • Rodent problems are common for homeowners, but Wildlife X Team® can help you prevent rodents from getting in your walls or your attic. Keep rodents out of your home by calling today!
  • Removing and relocating bats is best left to professionals, as bats will bite and scratch if threatened. If you see signs of bats on your property or want to know how to get rid of bats from your attic and chimney, please call Wildlife X Team® at (817) 431-3007.
  • Although armadillos have no reason to get into houses, there is a lot of damage armadillos can cause. Their diet consists mostly of grubs and insects, but when they burrow, it can affect the very structure of buildings. Call Wildlife X Team® today!
  • Whether you are facing a snake infestation on your property or just notice a single snake, call (817) 431-3007 at Wildlife X Team® today. Most snakes are harmless, some are venomous, and we can remove all kinds of snakes safely and quickly.
  • Birds can add a lot of enjoyment to the outdoor experience, but sometimes they cause trouble. If you're having an issue with problem birds like pigeons, starlings, or sparrows, give Wildlife X Team® a call at (817) 431-3007.
  • At Wildlife X Team®, we offer worry-free opossum removal and trapping. We can also repair any opossum damage.
  • Infamous for their defense mechanism, skunks are smelly creatures. This unique critter releases a scent to ward off predators and stay safe, and it smells offensive and can be dangerous.
  • Coyotes, a relative of the canine, are known for terrorizing livestock, and even household pets. Coyotes are often active at night, and homeowners often report the howling cries of these medium-sized creatures.
  • Badgers are notorious for having a bite that rivals their bark — despite their less-than-formidable size! Badgers have been known to fight animals as large as a bear!
  • Beaver damage is primarily to landscapes like riverbeds and lakesides. If you discover beaver damage in your property, call Wildlife X Team® at (817) 431-3007 to help relocate beavers and repair any damages caused by these flat-tailed critters.
  • Nocturnal creatures, bobcats will take down any prey necessary, especially livestock. Bobcats are territorial and will often return to the property they have claimed as their own, especially if there is a steady food source.
  • Chipmunks can be annoying and clever creatures, but they're no match for Wildlife X Team®. We offer chipmunk removal, and chipmunk damage repair services, plus we know how to keep chipmunks from coming back!
  • Fox landscape damage and feeding behaviors can affect homeowners' safety, so it's important to not approach a fox if you see one in the wild or on your property. Wildlife X Team® offers fox removal, fox trapping, and fox prevention. Call today!
  • Lizards, similar in appearance to snakes, can be frightening if you spot one in the wild or in your home, and although they don't typically attack residents, it's still good to not approach lizards.
  • Mole damage is most commonly found on landscapes, and sometimes humans don't even come into contact with them, but they definitely experience mole damage.
  • If you have discovered scorpion(s) in your garden or on your property, call us today for scorpion removal services.
  • Voles are not often spotted by humans, but vole damage is visible. For vole trapping, vole removal, and vole damage repair services, call Wildlife X Team® today!
  • Infestations of bugs are common, so if you are facing an insect infestation, don't panic—we can help kill insects and get rid of them inside and outside your home.
  • Wild hog trapping and wild hog prevention are the most effective means of wild hog removal. Due to the aggressive nature of wild hogs, we do not recommend DIY wild hog trapping.
  • Termite infestations are common inside homes and on properties, so if you are dealing with insects, call Wildlife X Team® at (817) 431-3007 today to get rid of your termite problem fast and effectively!
  • Bee and wasp infestations are common, so if you are facing a stinging insect infestation, don't panic — we can help get rid of them inside and outside your home.
Wildlife X Team is rapidly becoming the leader in the nuisance wildlife control industry. We lead the way in the development of technology, education, products and services in Wildlife Management.
Read More About Us
100% Financing
SuperMoney offers 100% financing up to $100,000 and 30 second approvals. You'll fill out one easy form and get competing pre-approved loan offers back in real time.
Apply Now
Wildlife X Team offers an exclusive Wildlife Inspection Report® which includes commonly overlooked areas where wildlife can enter and infest your home.
Project: Install or Upgrade Blown-In Insulation
Honest. Ready to work and will go around my schedule. Thank you.
Jennifer J., Katy, Texas