TULSA, OKLAHOMA (March 24, 2011) – A Wildlife Conservation Society delegation has gathered with leaders in bison conservation in Tulsa, Oklahoma, this week for an American Bison Society meeting. From March 23-25, the American Bison Society, along with a broad range of stakeholders including Native Americans, ranchers, scientists, and government agencies are focused on ensuring the ecological restoration of bison in North America. The ABS was formed in 1905 and led then by William Hornaday, WCS's first director, and Theodore Roosevelt. Today, bison numbers have rebounded but the species has not been ecologically restored. Bison are absent from much of their former range. More than 90 percent exist on ranches, as scientists and managers grapple with bison disease and genetics.

As the historical leader in bison conservation, the American Bison Society was reestablished in 2005 to ensure the ecological future of bison. The ABS works with a broad range of stakeholders to build the expertise and support necessary to achieve bison ecological restoration over the long-term. ABS and partners work on projects that build the groundwork for larger, free-ranging herds in more habitats of their historic range—herds that interact with as many native species and systems as possible and inspire and sustain human cultures.

Interview contact: Mary Dixon: 347-840-1242 (mdixon@wcs.org); or Scott Smith (ssmith@wcs.org): 406-522-9333 ext 116

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes toward nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth. Visit: www.wcs.org <http://www.wcs.org/>

Special Note to the Media: If you would like to guide your readers or viewers to a web link where they can make donations in support of helping save wildlife and wild places, please direct them to: www.wcs.org/donation <http://www.wcs.org/donation>