Thursday, August 4, 2011

Rare bison breed coming to NW Missouri

MARYVILLE, MO (KXCV) - Northwest Missouri will soon be home to an extremely rare breed of bison.

The Dunn Ranch is nearly 4 thousand acres north of Bethany owned by the national Nature Conservancy.

In late October the group is getting 30 head of bison from South Dakota for the ranch.

They come from one of just two herds in the nation with pure bison genetics…. having no cattle genes in them.

Randy Arndt is the site manager at Dunn Ranch and says the bison will help conserve the grassland birds and thousands of acres of tallgrass prairie in the preserve.

“We’re using bison instead of cattle because bison graze differently than cattle do. They focus on different plants. Cattle will stay in ponds, when we get heat like we’re having now they’ll concentrate in the water, they’ll stay in the shade, where bison will- even in the heat- will drink and move on. And they’re continually moving so the impact to the prairie is totally different,” Arndt said.

Besides the 30 head arriving this fall, 30 more are expected next year.

Conservationists hope in about five years nearly 350 head will live at the north Missouri site.

Kirk Wayman, KXCV


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