Meet bison, our first official national mammal

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On May 9, President Obama signed the National Bison Legacy Act, naming bison as the first official national mammal.

Once roaming from the Appalachian Mountains westward to Nevada in prehistoric times, as well as south into Mexico and north into Alaska, bison almost became extinct as the U.S. expanded west and the animal was heavily hunted.

According to the National Bison Association, there are about 400,000 bison roaming North America today on pastures and rangelands, after being reduced to fewer than 1,000 by the early 1900s. The U.S. Department of the Interior explains that today, bison can be found in all states on wildlife reservations, Native American lands, national parks and private land.

You can read more bison facts on the DOI blog.

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