American Buffalo

Wyoming State Mammal


Bison / American buffalo

Bison / American buffalo; photo © James Ownby: My View of Nature (all rights reserved; used by permission).

Official State Mammal of Wyoming

Wyoming designated the American buffalo as official state mammal in 1985. The American buffalo (more correctly called bison) is also a state symbol of Kansas and Oklahoma, and as of May 9, 2016, the official national mammal of the USA. All State Mammals

Bison Facts

A bull bison can weigh over 1800 pounds and stand 6 foot tall at the shoulder. Bison once roamed the American prairie by the tens of millions and provided a way of life for native Americans of the Great Plains. But European settlers hunted the American buffalo to the brink of extinction - it's estimated that between 300 - 500 animals remained when the federal government passed stricter game laws in 1889.

The American buffalo (Bison bison) is an inseparable part of American history; no other wild animal has played such a significant role in human affairs. The tribes of the American plains relied on bison for food, shelter, clothing, and as a powerful spiritual symbol. 



Bison (Bison bison); National Bison Range, near St. Ignatius, MT.  Photo by Keith Ewing/Flickr (noncommercial use permitted with attribution).

Bison; National Bison Range, near St. Ignatius, MT.

Bison sculpture; Wyoming State Capitol, Cheyenne, Wyoming.  Photo by Ken Lund/Flickr (noncommercial use permitted with attribution).

Bison sculpture at Wyoming State Capitol in Cheyenne, Wyoming


The Return of the Bison (Full Version)

Yellowstone National Park's Wildlife: Bison (Buffalo)