Data from: Yellowstone bison—should we preserve artificial population substructure or rely on ecological processes?
White, Patrick J.; Wallen, Rick L. (2012), Data from: Yellowstone bison—should we preserve artificial population substructure or rely on ecological processes?, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.75g00
Halbert et al. (2012) analyzed microsatellite genotypes collected from 661 Yellowstone bison sampled during winters from 1999 through 2003 and identified 2 genetically distinct subpopulations (central, northern) based on genotypic diversity and allelic distributions. Based on these findings, they raised concerns about the management and long-term conservation of Yellowstone bison due to disproportionate culling of the 2 subpopulations in some winters. The data and findings of Halbert et al. (2012) are significant and useful for managers charged with conserving these iconic wildlife. However, their article provides information regarding the behavior and management of Yellowstone bison that does not accurately portray historic or current conditions. This response clarifies those conditions and challenges some of their apparent deductions and recommendations.
Yellowstone National Park