In the long list of animals under threat, include Yellowstone bison. According towildlife advocacy groups, the animal's population is drastically dropping due to hunting and slaughtering. They are urging the US government to intervene in the matter to save bisonoutside of Yellowstone National Park.
A group of non-profit organizations has even sued the Interior Department and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The plaintiffs- Buffalo Field Campaign, Western Watersheds Project and Friends of Animals- are urging the court to order the federal agency to reconsider status of the Yellowstone bisonin its list of threatened and endangered animal species.
Earlier this year, bison, the animal which has survived near-extinction hunting in the late 19th century- was declared asthe national mammalby Congress. Experts say Yellowstone's slight less than 5,000 bison are among the only remaining US bison withoutcattle genes in their DNA.
This year, two petitions cited hunting of bison to consider the species as threatened or endangered, but theFish and Wildlife Service rejected both of them. According to the agency, the animal's population in Yellowstone is growing and it will not be added in the list. It also said that there's no research which could prove that it'sthreatened or endangered.
On the other side, the plaintiffs sayYellowstone bison numbers are too few. "It's not a viable population. There's too much inbreeding and they're subject to population collapse if disease hits the herd or there is a change in habitat due to drought or climate change", saidMike Harris, wildlife law program director from theFriends of Animals.
Now, they want judge to order the government to think about the rejected petitions again and issue threatened or endangered status to the bison.