Welcoming two new bison at Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area
Bison in trailer at Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area
A new year is exciting, as we look ahead to sharing upcoming nature stories with you. And thanks to Elk Island National Park, one of these special stories last month was welcoming two young plains bison bulls to Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area (OMB) in Saskatchewan.
Established by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) in 1996, OMB is a 5,297-hectare ranch located in Treaty Four Territory in southwest Saskatchewan. This area holds cultural and spiritual importance for many Indigenous Peoples, including Anishnaabe, Dakota, Lakota, Nakoda, Nêhiyawak and Niitsitapi.
Bison at Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area
In 2003, NCC introduced a herd of 50 plains bison to reside within the native grasslands at OMB, as part of its management goals of returning large-scale ecosystem processes to the OMB landscape. Over the last couple of years, NCC staff have worked with an Indigenous Advisory Group to help build a Bison Management Plan that will guide NCC’s direction with the OMB bison herd over the next 10 years.
Just as high biodiversity makes an ecosystem more resilient, genetic variation within a bison herd is critical for the resiliency and long-term sustainability of the herd. That’s why we are grateful for the team at Elk Island National Park in providing two plains bison bulls to join the herd at OMB and help keep both the herd and the grasslands healthy.