A female bison was nursing a young bison in early June. Another bison appeared to be providing protection for this vulnerable duo.
Historically, the American bison played an essential role in shaping the ecology of the Great Plains. Now, American farmers grow genetically modified corn and soybeans on the Great Plains.
An estimated 20 to 30 million bison once dominated the North American landscape from the Appalachians to the Rockies, from the Gulf Coast to Alaska. Habitat loss and unregulated shooting reduced the population to just 1,091 by 1889. Today, approximately 500,000 bison live across North America. However, most of these are not pure wild bison, but have been cross-bred with cattle.