Follow our conservation experts as they work to reintroduce bison to the backcountry of Canada’s oldest national park.

Happy birthday, bison! Ten bison calves born in Banff’s backcountry

Banff just got a whole lot cuter. Ten healthy bison calves were born in Banff National Park’s remote backcountry between Earth Day (April 22) and throughout May 2017, bringing the herd number to 26. These new arrivals represent the future of bison restoration in Banff and are part of the larger vision to reintroduce wild bison to the park. 

Bison calf
© Karsten Heuer / Parks Canada

The new calves are healthy and doing well. They are mingling with the herd, napping in the sun and playing. For the next few months, the calves will stay close to their mothers as they explore their new world. Their arrival is key part of the project as it will help the herd anchor to the landscape and adopt it as their new home.

Follow the herd from home! See what life is like for the calves by watching our new webisode on YouTube. Share it with your friends and family on social media.

Cliques, leaders and rebels: herd dynamics are forming

The herd arrived in Panther Valley home in early February, and they’re settling into their new home. Part of that process is figuring out who’s who in the herd. We’ve been keeping a close eye on them and starting to notice personalities starting to form.

Bison walk along fence in snow.
© Adam Zier-Vogel / Parks Canada

In the past few weeks, cow #12 has caught our attention. She’s normally the first cow to feed which could be a sign that she’s becoming a leader in the group.

This is pretty exciting because bison tend to organize themselves into matriarchal societies – like herds of elephants. They are normally led by older females who know the way to the best food and watering holes.

It’s too early to tell if she will grow up to be queen of the herd, but we will continue to keep an eye on her and other social dynamics as the animals continue to anchor to their new home.

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