by Terry Turner - Dec 29, 2015
Excerpts from the article:
A genetically pure herd of American bison has been living in Utah’s Henry Mountains, a discovery offering new hope that wild herds can be expanded to once again roam freely in the West.
Most bison alive today have been interbred with cattle after the iconic prairie species was nearly hunted to extinction. But, scientists having run DNA tests on some of the 350 bison in the Utah herd have now confirmed they are direct descendants of roughly 20 wild bison transferred from Yellowstone National Park in 1941.
“This is a remarkable finding considering these free-roaming, legally hunted animals live on unfenced public lands and graze alongside livestock,” Johan du Toit, wildlife ecologist from Utah State University, and one of the researchers said.