The American buffalo, was an endangered species in the United States.
Before Europeans came to America, huge numbers of buffalo roamed free on the prairies -- at least 30 million! European settlers hunted them eagerly, believing that there would always be a continual supply of wild buffalo.
Unfortunately, they were wrong. So many buffalo were hunted that by 1890 there were only about 750 animals left.
A law was passed to protect them, and today most bison live in parks and wildlife reserves.
Today, there are about 225,000 American buffalo, thanks to efforts to preserve the species. (2007)
Library of Congress Local Legacies Project
SEE BISON for additional Facts and Trivia
The National Bison Association encourages the name Bison to differentiate the American Buffalo from the Asian Water buffalo and African Cape buffalo. The American buffalo is not a true buffalo. Its scientific name is bison and it belongs to the bovine family along with domestic cattle.
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