Feature image el carmen

AMERICAN BISON / ISTOCKPHOTO

May 16, 2019.

Reintroduction of American Bison

Thanks to a joint initiative between AES Mexico, the Mexican Fund for the Conservation of Nature and CEMEX, an American bison conservation herd will be settled into El Carmen Nature Reserve.

The American bison, also known as buffalo, is the largest terrestrial mammal on the continent. This species has a robust body with a large head, short neck and pronounced hump. Both genders have short, black horns that curve up and in. Average size is 3 to 4 meters in length, 1.60 meters in height and weight between 300 to 950 kilograms. Males are larger than females and have thicker and longer horns; they also have a steeper hump and longer frontal fur.

The ecological importance of the bison is great, since they maintain the height of the grasslands at an adequate level when feeding, which avoids wildfires propagation and promotes plants diversity, benefiting other species such as pronghorn and grassland birds. Unlike domestic livestock, the trampling of the bison allows aerating the soil, reducing compaction and erosion of the latter. Bison is currently within the list of endangered species in Mexico. Some of the recovery threats it faces are the loss of habitat, due to the expansion of agricultural developments and livestock overgrazing.

There is only one bison herd in Mexico that is considered genetically pure, which is located in Rancho El Uno (Janos, Chihuahua). This herd is managed by the Mexican Fund for Conservation of Nature.

Thanks to a joint initiative between AES Mexico, the Mexican Fund for the Conservation of Nature (FMCN) and CEMEX, it is intended to translocate, during the following three years, 60 specimens of the conservation pack of Rancho El Uno into El Carmen Nature Reserve for management purposes, population increase and distribution expansion of the species.

With the reintroduction of the American bison into El Carmen Nature Reserve, a second conservation herd will be initiated in coordination with the Protected Natural Areas Commission of the Mexican Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources.