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Bison Conservation Genetics Study at Wind River Ranch, New Mexico

Bison face a variety of threats to their long-term survival as a species, including the spread of new diseases, low genetic diversity, and the introgression of domestic cattle genes. At Wind River Ranch (WRR), NM, we are studying the genetic diversity and cattle hybrid status of the resident wild bison herd to ensure its conservation significance. Three WRR bison were identified cattle hybrids using a mitochondrial marker. WRR has two distinct bison mitochondrial lineages, one unique to WRR, and one shared by bison at Yellowstone, the National Bison Range, the Texas State Bison Herd, and the Fort Niobrara NWR.

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