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Elk Island National Park

More information on bison in Canada’s National Parks

The government of Canada and Parks Canada have been instrumental in the restoration and reintroduction of plains bison. A small temporary herd resided at Banff National Park as early as 1887. Plains bison now reside in several National Parks in Canada:

Elk Island National Park of Canada

Plains bison were brought to EINP in 1909. EINP became the source of most plains bison reintroductions in Canada, and maintains a herd of approximately 450 animals. 

Wood Buffalo National Park of Canada

WBNP is home to the largest free-roaming herd of bison in the world, a mixture of plains and wood bison. Plains bison were translocated to WBNP between 1925 and 1928 from Buffalo National Park, which once existed near Wainwright, AB. More on bison management in WBNP .

Prince Albert National Park of Canada

PANP is host to the only free-roaming population of plains bison within the known historic plains bison range in Canada. From a few animals (10-22) has grown a healthy population of approximately 400. These animals range freely in and out of the Park, requiring a regional management approach. More on bison management in PANP .

Waterton Lakes National Park of Canada

A small herd of 12-20 animals are kept in a fenced-off area of fescue prairie.

Riding Mountain National Park of Canada

A display herd of approximately 30 animals is maintained at RMNP.

Grasslands National Park of Canada

Seventy plains bison from Elk Island National Park were released in GNP in December of 2005. They now roam in the Park’s West Block, an enclosure of approximately 181 km 2. GNP’s intent is to enhance the park’s ecological integrity by restoring grazing on the landscape.