The bison herd at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve grew to 14 over the weekend with the birth of a calf on Sunday, May 9, 2010. The bison calf is the first born on the property since at least the mid-1800s, when the property was fenced for cattle ranching. The mother and calf have only been seen from a distance and appear to be doing well.
"The mother and calf have secluded themselves from the rest of the herd but are expected to rejoin them in a few days," stated Superintendent Wendy Lauritzen.
The Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve brought 13 bison from Wind Cave National Park last October. The preserve’s bison herd will be managed as a satellite population to the Wind Cave bison herd. Management plans at TAPR call for a final herd size between 75 and 100 animals. The preserve plans to add more bison from Wind Cave as they become available. "We really appreciate the cooperation of Wind Cave as their bison are in high demand because data suggest the WICA bison herd is free of cattle introgression," stated Chief of Natural Resources Kristen Hase.
Interest in the bison herd has remained high with both the local and visiting public. The herd can be viewed either on foot or by NPS tour bus as preserve trails run through or adjacent to the bison pasture.
Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve and the bison herd are co-managed with our partner, The Nature Conservancy. For more information on the bison herd or other aspects of the preserve, visit the preserve’s website at www.nps.gov/tapr or call the preserve at (620) 273-6034.