Catalina Island Bison Birth Control Is Working
An Animal Rights Article from All-Creatures.org

FROM

In Defense of Animals (IDA)
October 2011

Following the 2011 calving season, Catalina now has only three more baby bison, compared to 29 in 2010. A humane solution to the problem of bison overpopulation on Catalina Island has been found.

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Fourteen bison were first introduced to Santa Catalina Island, off the coast of southern California, by a motion picture company for the filming of "The Vanishing American" in 1924. When filming was complete, the animals were left behind, and they multiplied. (Some challenge this theory, since there are no scenes of bison in "The Vanishing American," but most Catalina historians agree the bison were imported for this or another film, possibly "The Thundering Herd.")

Over the years the bison became a tourist attraction, but the population grew to more than double what the island can adequately sustain.

IDA has been working to humanely reduce the overpopulation of bison on Santa Catalina Island. We are now working with the Catalina Island Conservancy to sponsor a contraception plan coordinated by Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick of Zoo Montana using the non-hormonal vaccine PZP, which stimulates the bison's immune system to produce antibodies that prevent conception. The goal is zero growth. The few calves born each year offset the annual mortality, so the population is held at approximately 150 animals, a sustainable number.

Following the 2011 calving season, Catalina now has only three more baby bison, compared to 29 in 2010. A humane solution to the problem of bison overpopulation on Catalina Island has been found.


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