Presentation on theme: "OST TRIBAL BISON HERD RESEARCH BY DR TRUDY ECOFFEY, WILDLIFE BIOLOGIST OGLALA SIOUX PARKS AND RECREATION AUTHORITY Presentation for ITBC Annual Meeting."— Presentation transcript:
OST TRIBAL BISON HERD RESEARCH BY DR TRUDY ECOFFEY, WILDLIFE BIOLOGIST OGLALA SIOUX PARKS AND RECREATION AUTHORITY Presentation for ITBC Annual Meeting 2011 – Las Vegas, NV
Background on herd Tribe has had a Buffalo Herd since 1930s Managed by the Oglala Sioux Parks and Recreation Authority since 1970 4 main pastures 800+ animal capacity Hands off management – Holistic Approach Elk, prairie dogs, deer, Mt lions, coyotes, etc
Issues for the herd Low Reproductive Rate 33% calving rate in 2009 Coming off a drought Total pasture burned in Slim Buttes Little to no record keeping No real culling or harvesting rules No herd management plan
Range management Mid grass prairie with intermittent Ponderosa Pine Savanna Stocking Rate – Regulated by BIA and 35 to 40 acres per animal unit Supplementation No real range management plan other then trying to keep stocking rate in check and begin to supplement with minerals
Goals of Research 1. Increase calving percentage 2. Look at nutrition of bison herd What are they lacking in terms of nutrition? 3. Assess genetic integrity of bison Are there issues with genetics? 4. Document herd dynamics through a behavior study
Record Keeping Round up and documentation 1. Sex 2. Age 3. Weight 4. Tagging 5. Pregnancy test/wet or dry 6. Scrotum size on bull 7. Body Condition score 8. Fecal 9. Pull Tail Hair 10. Comments – injuries, external parasites, eye issues, etc
Genetic Integrity Tribal bison herd is primarily from stock from Badlands National Park and Wind Cave National Park What bulls are doing most of the breeding? Are some cows not producing and if so, do you cull them? Is inbreeding or lack of genetic diversity an issue? What should we be looking at for genetics?
What is causing the low reproductive rate? Is it nutrition? Is it lack of genetic diversity? Is the herd structure compromised by lack of management? Is there a reproductive disease?
What animals to DNA test? Pulling tail hairs on everything Sent a small sample size of tail hairs of young breeding bulls to Black Hills State University Look at cattle genes Too small of sample size to determine at this time if there are any issues Need to define what we are hoping to find Look at behavior study to assess what animals, particularly bulls
Thank you University of Nebraska –Lincoln Black Hills State University Oglala Lakota College Oglala Sioux Parks and Recreation Authority Intertribal Buffalo Council