Bison Council

Health & Nutrition

What Is Bison?

Where do bison live? Are bison endangered? What’s the difference between bison and buffalo? Find everything you ever wanted to know about North America’s most iconic animal right here.

A Very Brief History of Bison

The North American bison has thrived on prairies, river valleys and scrublands of North America for thousands of years.

Although their numbers decreased drastically in the late 1800s, bison are no longer endangered. In recent decades, their numbers have grown steadily. Today they graze on open ranges from Alberta, Canada to Mexico.

Original settlers of the American West called North American bison "buffalo," because they were reminiscent to Asian and African buffalo. Although it is a misnomer, the name buffalo is still commonly used today.

Meat is correctly labeled as "bison," so consumers know they are buying a North American product.

Illustration of Bison
The American Bison is the exact same species as the American Buffalo.

North America’s Sustainably Sourced Protein

Because bison move constantly, grazing specific areas intensely for short periods, they actually enhance the biodiversity of their "Home On The Range."

As bison move across the land, they create good locations for the seeds of new prairie plants to germinate. The result is a varied grassland that hosts butterflies, pollinating insects, and nesting birds.

Unlike cattle, bison can’t be fenced in. They need only food, water, other bison, and room to roam. This leads to more diverse grasslands, nutrient-dense meat, and a better life for the bison themselves.