Officials agree to reduce Yellowstone's bison herd by as many as 900

Officials agreed Wednesday to reduce the population of a Yellowstone National Park bison herd by as many as 900 bison.

Federal, state and tribal officials made a deal to have 600 to 900 bison quarantined, shot by hunters or slaughtered during the upcoming winter so the animals won’t spread diseases to cattle, The Associated Press reported

Yellowstone National Park is currently home to 5,450 bison. Hunting is normally not allowed within the park. 


The agreement came due to concerns that too many bison would go up north to Montana over the winter and spread brucellosis to cattle, potentially causing them to lose pregnancies. 

An extra 200 bison could be added to the list to kill or quarantine if the addition is necessary to decrease the population slightly or make it stable, according to the AP.

Officials say the herd's numbers should quickly rebound in the spring.

This is not the first time hunters were offered a chance to control the bison population in the West.

In the spring, 45,000 hunters applied for 12 spots to shoot bison in the Grand Canyon in an initiative to control the population when the animals were negatively impacting resources in the area. 

Bison hunts are also being conducted outside Yellowstone this winter, led by Native American tribes and state programs, the AP noted.