For thousands of years bison have been an important part of North America’s natural and cultural heritage. However, during the 19th century, the fur trade, European settlement of the Great Plains and the industrial revolution brought the bison to the brink of extinction. Since 1907 Parks Canada has been working to restore bison populations and re-connect these iconic animals with the ecosystems and culture of their traditional range. At Elk Island National Park you can see the wild bison that form Canada’s source herds for both Plains and Wood Bison conservation efforts.