Plains bison reintroduction
Banff National Park
Wild bison return to Canada’s first national park
Parks Canada is pleased to announce that bison now roam free in Banff National Park. After an absence of over a century, the return of wild plains bison is a historic, ecological and cultural triumph.
On July 29, 2018, we released 31 bison from the soft-release pasture in Panther Valley, and they now roam a 1200 sq km reintroduction zone. They are fulfilling their role in the ecosystem as “keystone species” by creating a vibrant mosaic of habitats that benefits bugs to birds to bears, and hundreds of other species.
New Informed by Indigenous, stakeholder and public review and input, Parks Canada is pleased to present the final Report on the Plains Bison Reintroduction Pilot 2017-2022. The Report follows the direction of the 2015 Plains Bison Reintroduction Plan, summarizes key learnings, and provides a basis to understand the feasibility of managing bison on the landscape.
Over a 30-day engagement period, from November 9, 2022 – December 14, 2022, the Agency sought perspectives from Canadians on the future of bison management in Banff National Park. Indigenous groups, stakeholders, and the public were encouraged to review the Draft Report and share their feedback.
The engagement process has now concluded. The final report is now available to the public, along with a ‘What We Heard’ summary of the recent engagement. Parks Canada is pleased to announce that, moving forward, Banff will work towards keeping bison on the landscape within Banff National Park while the Agency explores future options for bison management through the development of a bison management plan. Indigenous peoples and stakeholders will continue to be informed and involved throughout this process.
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