Plains bison reintroduction
Wild bison return to Canada’s first national park
Parks Canada is pleased to announce that bison now roam free in Banff National Park. After an absence of over a century, the return of wild plains bison is a historic, ecological and cultural triumph.
This marks the beginning of the next phase in the reintroduction project: free-roaming. On July 29, 2018, we released 31 bison from the soft-release pasture in Panther Valley, and they are now free to roam in a 1200 sq km reintroduction zone. They will start to fulfill their role in the ecosystem as “keystone species” by creating a vibrant mosaic of habitats that benefits bugs to birds to bears, and hundreds of other species.
- Year 1 and 2 (2017-2018) – Soft-release: The herd was held in an enclosed pasture in the Panther Valley, so they could bond to their new home.
- Years 3 to 5 (2018-2022) – Free-roaming: In summer 2018, the bison were released to explore the full ~1200 km2 reintroduction zone in the remote eastern slopes of Banff.
- Throughout the project the herd will be closely monitored by Parks Canada.
Be part of the reintroduction journey!
- Follow the bison story on our social channels
- Join the conversation by using #banffbison.
- Track updates from the field on our Bison Blog
For questions or more information contact:
Banff Field Unit, Parks Canada