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What Happened to the Buffalo?:
An Annotated Bibliography
Mary Ryals
Academic affiliation: Oklahoma State University
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Berger, Joel and Steven L. Cain. "Reproductive Synchrony in Brucellosis-Exposed Bison in the Southern Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and in Noninfected Populations." Conservation Biology 13.2 (1999): 357-66. Concern about the disease Brucellosis, and the spread of it, is the focus here. Bison carry the disease and if released from reserves, will be exposing it to livestock. Brucellosis is a disease that causes abortion in livestock and is often transmitted through bison's expelled fetuses or birth fluids. This theory was tested in bison infected, free from, and exposed with the Brucellosis disease. The use of charts and graphs, and a discussion at the end, brings the reader into the research, breaking down the evidence for the audience to understand. Their hypothesis has been tested in a variety of areas in the plains so it can be tested fairly.

Callenbach, Ernest. Bring Back the Buffalo! A Sustainable Future for America's Great Plains. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996. By separating the book into three sections, the author has created a description for the reader beneficially. The first section, "Bison Past", illustrates the Great Plains as an ecosystem, dominated by bison, grass, wheat, and cotton. The second part, "Bison Present", introduces individuals and organizations who are working with buffalo. "Bison Future" explains why buffalo offer a feasible environment for the Plains. This is a lively book describing how the Great Plains can and will bring back the population of buffalo. Points are made quickly and clearly and definitions are added for clarity. It is perfect for an undergraduate student interested in all aspects of buffalo on the Great Plains.

Creel, Darrell. "Bison Hides in Late Prehistoric Exchange in the Southern Plains." American Antiquity 56.1 (1991): 40-49. The author tries to readdress the importance of the buffalo hides in prehistoric times. This is based on the interaction of southern plains and the importance of bison hides. There is a chart that shows a timeline and the remains of buffalo, showing the relationship between the southern Indian tribes. It provides information to the reader who is looking for evidence of tribal communication in the plains. There are descriptions of tools used to dehide buffalo as well as descriptions of the most effective. Three points are emphasized associating bison, beveled knives, and endscrapers. It is beneficial yet has a scattered layout, making it somewhat difficult to read.

Flores, Dan. "Bison Ecology and Bison Diplomacy: The Southern Plains from 1800 to 1850." The Journal of American History 78.2 (1991): 465-85. A story of sorts is being told in this essay. It is a description of the plains in the early to middle eighteen hundreds concerning the American Indians and the diplomacy of the early politicians. It is based around the hunt of the early Americans for economic growth and how they found bison to be the answer. This left the American Indians without their main source of survival. Native Americans habitually hunted and used whole bison for economic need. Explorers hunted buffalo for specific purposes and so left the carcasses to waste. This is a detailed analyzation about that time period that is an interesting source for education about the southern plains.

Fritz, Ken M. and Walter K. Dodds, et al. "The Effects of Bison Crossings on the Macroinvertibrate Community in a Tallgrass Prairie Stream." American Midland Naturalist 141.2 (1999): 253-65. Bison were important herbivores on prairie lands. They almost became extinct at the end of the 19th century. Opening this essay is a description of how most people visualize buffalo herds grazing the plains, which is important to catch the readers' interest. The main argument presented by the authors is the possible disturbing effects bison have on stream communities. Judging the stability of the bison crossings, they are able to research water infiltration and erosion on streams. The researchers use many graphs and charts to show their discoveries. By showing the steps of their research they pull the audience into their argument.

Guthrie, R. D. "Bison Evolution and Zoogeography in North America During the Pleistocene." Quarterly Review of Biology 45.1 (1970): 1-15. Buffalo evolution is the broad thesis of this article. Bison arose in Eurasia where their history is longer than here in North America. Many of bison's evolutionary changes occurred here in North America rather than Eurasia, even though they have been here a considerably shorter time. Horn size has continued to be fairly regular even though other major reversals have taken place. The seven major points of the author are presented in a timely manner, across the time period of the Pleistocene. Although wordy, this is informative for an audience curious about bison history and evolution. The points are presented clearly, but an average audience will need a dictionary to understand the specific language used by the author.

Haines, Francis. The Buffalo. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1995. Twenty- six chapters tell a story from prehistoric buffalo to preservation and near extinction. Interest is kept by the audience due to the author's keen way of separating topics. History is accompanied by science as well as conservation applications. Indian tribes are a main focus on the buffalo's history, listing traditions of different tribes and relaying the actions of explorers in the nineteenth century. Indian downfall is emphasized as a reason in bison depletion. Dimensions of this book range from buffalo herds in Canada to New Mexico. The author also includes possible reasons for bison's near extinction, and how they are being repopulated. Short chapters are beneficial and informative for someone who is looking for specific facts or wants to read the book as a story.

Hartl, Gunther B. and Zdzislaw Pucek. "Genetic Depletion in the European Bison (Bison Bonasus) and the Significance of Electrophoretic Heterozygosity for Conservation." Conservation Biology 8.1 (1994): 167-74. Thirty five lowland bison from Bialowieza Primeval Forest were screened for genetic variation in this study. These studies proved the evidence as three times lower than previous recordings. Heterozygosity (H) had not had as much genetic influence as thought previously. Despite similar (H) values, heterozygosity is only useful as an overall genetic variability. Charts and graphs are used to provide visual aid to the reader. Abbreviations are also defined to simplify the reading. However, written by authors of different languages, this article is extremely difficult and not very direct. This is written for those in the specific field of genetic depletion and conservation of species in Europe.

Isenberg, Andrew C. The Destruction of the Bison. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000. Bison populations went from thirty million in eighteen hundred to less than one thousand in nineteen hundred. It is argued that the cultural encounter with Native American Indians and European Americans in the plains regions was the cause of this rapid depletion. Both hunted buffalo, which resulted in too many hunters for the number of bison. In this book, the author explains the decline and how the endangerment was recognized in the early twentieth century. Environmental reasons combined with the numbers of hunters are the basis of his argument and thesis. Included are maps of the Great Plains area and statistical graphs showing the rapid decline. Visual aid and clear argument make for a worthwhile reading. This should be included works for an audience with an argumentative project.

Plumb, Glenn E. and Jerrold L. Dodd. "Foraging Ecology of Bison and Cattle on a Mixed Prairie: Implications for Natural Area Management." Ecological Applications 3.4 (1993): 631-43. The thesis is that the relationship between feeding-time investment and forage patchiness is important in determining differences in diets of bison and cattle. Bison and cattle have similar and different dietary qualities. Bison balance nutrient and time demands by almost exclusively eating graminoids, whereas cattle do not. However, cattle and bison may have similar dietary qualities with different behavior. Food habits of both cattle and buffalo on the mixed prairie can determine the health and possible extinction of each species. It is discussed in order to keep the herbivore in conditions most appropriate for the nature of the animal. Word choices here are both scholarly and informative. Without being too wordy, the authors have given the reader a specific view of their research.

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