There will be not remote vaccinations of bison in Yellowstone National Park for brucellosis. Park Spokesman Al Nash says the time and money they would’ve had to put into the program simply would not have been worth it.
“Essentially, we looked at the existing technology, which would be to create a projectile which contains the vaccine and use an air gun to deliver it to wild bison at locations in the park,” said Nash. “What we determined is that we could spend 30 years and $9 million on a program of this type and our outcome would be a very small reduction in the prevalence of brucellosis in bison, so it really wouldn’t contribute to our conservation of wild bison.”
The decision means Yellowstone will continue using syringe vaccination on bison calves and yearlings periodically captured at the northern boundary of the park.
Nash says the current program has been successful in maintaining a wild bison herd and preventing the transmission of brucellosis to nearby livestock.
The National Park Service (NPS) released a Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on a Brucellosis Remote Vaccination Program on Tuesday.
The EIS was prepared in response to a commitment the NPS made in 2000 as part of a court-mediated settlement between the federal government and the State of Montana which resulted in the creation of the Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP). Additional information and an electronic copy of the Final EIS is available online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/BisonRemoteVacc. You can request a printed copy of the Final EIS by contacting the National Park Service, Bison Management Program, P.O. Box 168, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190.