The abundance of bison

“Between the Rocky Mountains and the states lying along the Missippi River on the west,

from Minnesota to Louisiana,

the whole country was one vast buffalo range,

inhabited by millions of buffaloes…

One could fill a volume with the records of plainsmen and pioneers

who penetrated or crossed that vast region between 1800 and 1870,

and were in turn surprise, astounded, and frequently dismayed

by the tens of thousands of buffaloes they observed, avoided, or escaped from.

They lived and moved as no other quadrupeds ever have, in great multitudes,

like grand armies in review, covering scores of square miles at once.

They were so numerous they frequently stopped boats in the rivers,

threatened to overwhelm travelers on the plains,

and in later years derailed locomotives and cars…”
- W.T. Hornaday, 1889

© What is Missing? Foundation
Audio: Cornell Lab of Onithology
Video: Detroit Public Library
Source: David Wilcove

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