- Reintroduction of Plains Bison (Bison bison bison) to Banff National Park. An ecological necessity?
Seminar paper from the year 2013 in the subject Environmental Sciences, grade: 1,7, University of Toronto, course: Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, language: English, abstract: In 2013, Parks Canada published a first draft plan to reintroduce plains bison to Banff National Park. This project was supported by the reasons that bison play a keyrole in the ecosystem and function as a food resource for predators and scavenger. Plains bison play a key role in prairie ecosystems. Through their grazing and wallowing combined with naturally occurring fires, plains bison have a disproportionally large impact on their environment. However, the role bison play in Banff National Park is likely to be of minor importance. In fact, the reintroduction of plains bison may even harm the Banff ecosystem through enhanced seed dispersal of exotic species and fragmentation through bison-fencing. It is concluded that if bison will be reintroduced, more research is needed, first, on the impact of bison to the Banff ecosystem and second, on the impact of bison fencing on the movement of other wildlife. Also, Parks Canada should be willing to cancel the project if the ecological costs outweigh the benefits.