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Bison (LINK 1.2)
Title: Defining Optimal Bison Herd Health Management Practices Based on Determination of Nutritional, Genetic and Behavioral Variables in the Oglala Sioux Tribal Bison Herd.

  • The Oglala Sioux Tribe has maintained a Bison herd since the 1930s.  In recent years the calving rate of the 800 head herd has been below 50%.  Oglala Lakota College (OLC), in collaboration with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) and Black Hills State University (BHSU), proposes to study the nutrition, behavior, and genetic integrity of the herd in order to better manage the herd's reproduction.  The proposed study builds on a current research characterizing reproductive diseases in the herd and expands the Tribe's holistic approach to maintaining the herd's reproductive success.  The first objective will be to characterize herd nutrition and reproductive efficiency.  The second objective will be to characterize the genetic integrity of the herd through DNA testing.  The third objective will be to characterize the relationship between birth-date and subsequent reproductive performance of adult bison.  The proposed study will help the Oglala Sioux Parks and Recreation Authority (OSPRA) and other regional bison producers to improve birth rates in their herds.  OLC undergraduate and graduate students, guided by faculty from the collaborating universities, will actively participate in sample collection, data analyses, interpretation of results, and the development of conclusions.  They will help disseminate results through local, regional, and national conferences and symposia.  These results of this research will be broadly applicable to other Bison herds on the semi-arid Great Plains and could be easily replicated by other tribal colleges.
  • Collaboration:
    • Oglala Sioux Parks and Recreation Authority (OSPRA)
    • Black Hills State University (BHSU)
    • University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL)