We all know that bison has a lot of benefits in terms of the meat it produces. Bison are allowed to roam freely, they are grass-fed and they are not given hormones or antibiotics. Their meat is lean and the natural process with which they are raised are good for the animals and consumers.
But did you also know that the roaming and grazing habits of bison are good for the prairie and the lands on which they live? Bison’s relationship with the land is incredibly symbiotic. Just check out this infographic from the Nature Conservancy for a few bullet points!
When 1000-2000 lb. bison wallow (or roll around), their large bodies help carve out depressions in the land which fill with water when it rains and promote the return of amphibians.
Soil & Hooves
Bison cut the soil with their hooves. These disturbances open space for wildflowers, annual plants and encourage the growth of new grass, help rid the grassland of trees and aerate and loosen the top soil. When combined with the movement of soil and seeds (in “roaming” below), this helps to strengthen the natural grasses and land.
Bison like to graze young grasses all the way down to the nubs. They skip over most species of wildflowers, allowing native plants to regain a foothold in the prairie. They are also natural roamers, always moving, meaning they will not graze an area dry before moving on.
Bison like to wallow in dusty spots on the prairie. When they do, soil and seeds stick to the thick fur on their heads and forequarters. Due to the roaming nature of bison, these seeds are later dispersed as bison wander and graze. The movement of soil and seeds to new areas help promote biodiversity which strengthens the natural environment.