New technology in bison genetic testing may improve management practices
, 2022-06-02 18:35:12,
CUSTER STATE PARK, S.D. – The Custer State Park bison herd was part of a Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences study that compared DNA from historical bison herds in the United States to 1,842 domestic cattle.
“There’s like a slight strain that they go back and what they’re still trying to figure out is, is that naturally occurring in bison or was there really an integration at some point in time. So I mean, that’s part of what some of the study looks at is as kind of that whole genotype of what’s going on with those genetics and the different bison,” said Matt Snyder, Custer State Park Superintendent.
The study which was published in the journal Scientific Reports found that all bison in North America carry small portions of DNA of domestic cattle. The study updates previous findings from 20 years ago that revealed that only a few herds existed that were thought to be free of bovine ingression, including the herd in Yellowstone National Park.
The Custer State Park bison herd originated in 1914, when they purchased 36 head from the Scottie Phillips buffalo herd.
Phillips was a South Dakota rancher who started his own bison herd in 1899, from the Fred Dupree herd.
Dupree, a French Canadian fur trader was married to a Minniconjou Lakota woman named Good Elk Woman. The Dupree family felt compelled to save the bison after watching the transformation of the Plains Indian culture due to the Black Hills gold rush and the decimation of the sacred herds. Fred and his son Pete Dupree captured five bison calves during the last big American Indian bison hunt on the Grand River in 1881.
In 1906, Phillips appealed to the U.S. Congress to help save bison referring to them as ‘the symbol of the west’. He was permitted to…
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