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Species at Risk

Wood Bison

Bison bison athabascae

Wood bison are the largest land mammals in North America. Historical estimates suggest that there were once over 168,000 wood bison in Canada. Heavy hunting and severe winters are believed to be the main causes for the historical decline of the wood bison population. Today, the wood bison population in Canada is estimated at around 10,000 animals. Wood bison are classified as threatened by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). A National Recovery Plan for Wood Bison was published by the National Wood Bison Recovery Team in 2001 and recovery measures were undertaken by Parks Canada and its partners.

Wood Bison standing in Wood Buffalo National Park of Canada
Wood Bison in Wood Buffalo National Park of Canada.
© Parks Canada / W. Lynch / (100) / 1987