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Reintroduced bison returning to ancestral haunts in Banff
Bison reintroduced to Banff National Park as part of a five-year program are settling into the same wallows their ancestors used 140 years ago. Parks Canada has been translocating bison (Bison bison) from a herd in Elk Island National Park east of Edmonton to Banff since February 2017, when the first 16 animals were moved. Now 36 individuals roam in the Panther River Valley north of the town of Banff — the herd just experienced its first national death, according to a Parks Canada blog on the herd. Karsten Heuer, the manager of the bison reintroduction project, told CBC News that herd is grazing areas and reactivating old wallows. In the process, they are also digging up some of the bones of their ancestors with their hooves. These reactivated wallows also prompt ecosystem changes, as birds are attracted to the meadows and amphibians to the watery wallows.