Yellowstone National Park and other national, state and tribal agencies on Sunday began the annual bison capture and shipping operations at the Stephens Creek area of the park, according to a news release.

The culling begins when bison migrate from the interior of the park to the Gardiner, Mont., Basin, and may continue through March.

The population will be reduced using three methods:

  • Public and tribal hunting outside the park.
  • Capturing bison near the park boundary and then transferring them to Native American tribes for processing and distribution of meat and hides to their members.
  • A quarantine program that results in brucellosis-free bison being moved to tribal lands.

The Stephens Creek administrative area includes park corral operations, equipment storage, a native plant nursery, and the bison capture and quarantine facilities. The area is closed to the public year-round.

The Interagency Bison Management Plan partners include federal, state, and tribal groups. In December, the plan partners agreed to a 2020 winter operations plan that recommends removing 600 to 900 animals from the park's estimated 4,900 bison.

The National Park Service reminds visitors that unmanned aircraft (drones) are prohibited in Yellowstone National Park.

Learn more about why Yellowstone bison are culled.

Three years ago, three people from an advocacy group called Wild Buffao Defense were arrested for protesting at the culling facility. They pleaded guilty in March 2018 and were banned from Yellowstone National Park for five years.

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