Vulnerability assessment of the multi-sector North American bison management system to climate change.

Published online
25 Aug 2021
Published by
British Ecological Society
Content type

Martin, J. M. & Zarestky, J. & Briske, D. D. & Barboza, P. S.

Publication language
North America


A vulnerability assessment of the "Bison Management System" (BMS) to increasing climate variability was conducted to further clarify the challenges that bison conservation and production may face in future climates. A survey of 132 bison managers from the BMS was done, who mostly reside in the northern and central mixedgrass prairies of North America and manage bison herds averaging 51-100 animals. Results from the survey revealed that the bison management system is vulnerable to climate change and is susceptible to losing sustainability if the BMS does not prepare adaptation strategies for impending climate changes such as warming, increasing drought and a resulting decline in productivity of grasslands. The study showed that access to grazing leases, varied external income, use of management plans and information exchange are variables that present sustainability stumbling blocks for many bison managers across the private, public and NGO sectors.

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