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National Bison Day

Date Pattern: First Saturday in November

The Magnificence of the American Bison and the Origins of National Bison DayIn the vast prairies and semiopen grasslands of North America, roams an iconic symbol of the continent’s wild spirit – the American bison. Also known as buffalo, these large grazing mammals belong to the bovine family, which includes cows and goats.

Today, the American bison’s at-risk status is a stark testament to the negative impact of human settlement on their habitat. However, this remarkable creature continues to captivate our hearts and minds, leading to the creation of National Bison Day.

In this article, we will explore the grandeur of the American bison, their relationship with other animals, their at-risk status, and the history of National Bison Day.

Description and Relation to Other Animals

The American bison, scientifically known as Bison bison, is an imposing creature that once roamed the vast grasslands of North America in mammoth herds. These magnificent beasts can weigh up to 2,000 pounds and reach a height of over six feet at the shoulder.

With their muscular bodies, shaggy manes, and distinctive hump, they are a sight to behold. Interestingly, despite being commonly referred to as buffalo, American bison are not true buffalo.

True buffalo species, such as the water buffalo and Cape buffalo, belong to the Bovidae family, distinct from the American bison’s Bovinae family. Nevertheless, the terms buffalo and bison are often used interchangeably, causing confusion.

In terms of their relation to other animals, American bison are closest to cows and goats, all falling under the Bovinae family. They share common ancestors and exhibit similar physical characteristics.

However, the American bison’s distinctive hump and massive size set it apart from its relatives.

At-Risk Status and Human Interaction

Once upon a time, the American bison thrived on the vast grasslands that stretched across North America. They played a crucial role in shaping the ecosystem, grazing on grasses and shrubs, thus preventing the domination of woody vegetation.

However, the settlement of humans brought about a radical change. As the population expanded westward, the prairies and grasslands were partitioned, and the once-abundant bison began to dwindle in numbers.

Competition for land, hunting for furs and meat, and the disruption of migration patterns pushed these majestic creatures to the brink of extinction. By the late 1800s, their population had plummeted from an estimated 30 to 60 million to a mere 325 individuals.

Thankfully, dedicated conservation efforts emerged in the early 20th century, helping to save the American bison from certain extinction. Today, their numbers have rebounded to approximately 500,000 individuals, thanks to protected habitats and breeding programs.

While their population growth is encouraging, ongoing vigilance is crucial to ensure their long-term survival. Main Topic: History of National Bison Day

Importance of American Bison and Concern for Their Populations

The symbolic and ecological significance of the American bison has long captured the attention and concern of conservationists and animal lovers alike. These magnificent creatures are not merely a spectacle, but a keystone species that plays a vital role in maintaining the health of grassland ecosystems.

By grazing on grasses, they create more favorable conditions for other species, promote biodiversity, and prevent the dominance of invasive plants. Recognizing the importance of the American bison and the need to protect their populations, National Bison Day was established.

This annual observance serves as a reminder of the deep historical and cultural connections between the American bison and the people of North America.

Official Recognition and Legislative Measures

The journey towards the establishment of National Bison Day began with the US Senate. In 2016, a bipartisan group of senators introduced the National Bison Legacy Act, which aimed to officially recognize the American bison as the national mammal of the United States.

The bill quickly gained support from various conservation organizations, Native American tribes, and enthusiasts eager to honor this revered creature. Eventually, the National Bison Legacy Act passed in the US Senate and gained further momentum when it was signed into law by President Barack Obama on May 9, 2016.

However, the story of official recognition does not end there. It dates back even further, to the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, a passionate conservationist.

Roosevelt understood the significance of the American bison and took great strides to protect and preserve this magnificent species. His foresight and dedication laid the groundwork for the establishment of National Bison Day.


In conclusion, the American bison holds a special place in the hearts and minds of those who appreciate the majesty of North America’s wildlife. From their remarkable physical characteristics to their vital role in shaping ecosystems, these creatures continue to capture imaginations.

While their at-risk status is a stark reminder of the impact of human intervention, efforts to safeguard their populations have shown promising results. National Bison Day serves as a celebration of the American bison’s resilience, as well as a reminder of the importance of conservation and the preservation of our natural heritage.

Celebrating National Bison Day: Beards for Bison and Supporting Conservation Efforts

Beards for Bison Campaign

When it comes to raising awareness and funds for a cause, creativity knows no bounds. The Beards for Bison campaign is a prime example of this.

Inspired by popular initiatives like Movember and No-Shave November, Beards for Bison encourages individuals to sport facial hair during the month of November to raise awareness and contribute to bison conservation efforts. The idea behind Beards for Bison is simple yet impactful.

Participants forgo shaving for the entire month, allowing their beards to grow wild and free. By doing so, they become walking billboards, sparking conversations about the conservation of American bison and the importance of preserving their habitats.

The Beards for Bison campaign started gaining traction in recent years, capturing the attention of outdoor enthusiasts, conservationists, and even celebrities. Through social media platforms, participants proudly display their beard journey, sharing stories and images of their progress.

This unique campaign encourages individuals of all genders and ages to get involved, allowing anyone to be a part of the movement. Whether it’s a full beard, a well-groomed mustache, or even creatively styled facial hair, every effort counts in raising awareness and showing support for the American bison.

Donations and Support for Bison Conservation

Raising awareness through Beards for Bison is just the beginning. Another crucial aspect of National Bison Day is the opportunity to make a tangible difference through donations and support for bison conservation organizations.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is one such organization that strives to protect and restore bison populations. Their work focuses on preserving the Northern Great Plains, where the largest remaining herds of American bison reside.

By donating to WWF, individuals can contribute directly to the conservation efforts within these key habitats. In addition to monetary donations, organizations like WWF provide unique opportunities for individuals to get involved on a personal level.

Programs such as “Adopt a Bison” allow supporters to symbolically adopt an American bison and provide ongoing support for their conservation. Furthermore, charitable organizations associated with bison conservation offer a wide range of gifts and merchandise.

From clothing and accessories showcasing stunning bison imagery to educational materials and books, these items not only make great gifts but also help fund important conservation initiatives. By purchasing these products, individuals can support bison conservation efforts while promoting awareness among their family and friends.

The Northern Great Plains, home to the bison, is not only a crucial wildlife habitat but also a source of inspiration for artists and photographers. Many creative individuals have used their talents to capture the beauty and majesty of bison in their artwork.

By supporting these artists, either by purchasing their work or attending exhibitions, individuals can contribute to bison conservation financially while adorning their spaces with captivating representations of these incredible creatures.


National Bison Day is more than just a day of celebration; it is an opportunity for individuals to make a difference and show their support for American bison conservation. Initiatives like the Beards for Bison campaign not only raise awareness but also generate conversations and inspire others to join the cause.

Combining these efforts with donations, symbolic adoptions, and the purchase of bison-related merchandise allows individuals to make a tangible impact and contribute directly to the conservation organizations working tirelessly to protect these magnificent creatures. As National Bison Day continues to grow in popularity and significance, it is our collective responsibility to ensure the long-term survival and preservation of the American bison.

Together, through creative campaigns, generous donations, and support for vital conservation initiatives, we can celebrate these iconic animals and secure a future where they roam freely across the North American grasslands. In conclusion, National Bison Day celebrates the grandeur and significance of the American bison while raising awareness about their conservation needs.

Through initiatives like Beards for Bison, individuals can actively participate in spreading the message of preservation. Additionally, supporting bison conservation organizations through donations, symbolic adoptions, and the purchase of bison-related merchandise provides crucial financial support for their protection.

By coming together, we have the power to ensure the survival of this iconic species and preserve the cultural and ecological legacy they represent. Let us embrace the spirit of National Bison Day and inspire others to join the cause, securing a future where the American bison continues to roam freely and captivate our hearts.

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