Translator Disclaimer
1 March 2017 Late Pleistocene and Holocene Bison of the Colorado Plateau
Jeff M. Martin, Rachel A. Martin, Jim I. Mead
Author Affiliations +

Fossils of Bison (bison) are scarce on the Colorado Plateau, especially in and around the Greater Grand Canyon Region. Because of poor preservation and collection biases in the region, various resource managers have erroneously designated bison a nonnative and human-(re)introduced species. This decision directly impacts an extant herd of approximately 400 bison that periodically meander onto Grand Canyon National Park lands from neighboring U.S. Forest Service and State of Arizona lands. We re-examined and verified paleozoological museum specimens of this large mammal confirming a prehistoric and early historic presence of Bison on the Colorado Plateau. Our findings indicate that Bison bison should be considered a native species on the Colorado Plateau because they have a nearly continuous record of inhabitance in the region. This record is supported by 74 Bison-bearing fossil, subfossil, and historical localities since the latest Pleistocene.

Jeff M. Martin, Rachel A. Martin, and Jim I. Mead "Late Pleistocene and Holocene Bison of the Colorado Plateau," The Southwestern Naturalist 62(1), 14-28, (1 March 2017).
Received: 7 July 2016; Accepted: 1 December 2016; Published: 1 March 2017

Get copyright permission
Back to Top