Cross-cutting multidisciplinary evidence sufficiently demonstrates that wild, free-ranging bison (Bison bison) that occupy portions of the House Rock Valley and Grand Canyon North Rim in northern Arizona are native wildlife at the southwest edge of their historical range. Wildlife at the edge of historical range can play an important role in the conservation of species after declines in distribution and abundance. Very low density bison likely approximate long-term prehistoric and historic conditions on the southwestern Colorado Plateau. Small, low-density bison herds managed as free-ranging wildlife could approximate these historic conditions, coexist with sensitive landscape and cultural resources, and contribute to a bison metapopulation, thereby contributing to the continental conservation of this species.
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Vol. 63 • No. 1