Tuesday, October 24, 2017 “The Buffalo’s Great Heartbeat: Historical Ecology of Bison in Western North America”

THE BUFFALO’S GREAT HEARTBEAT : Historical Ecology of Bison in Western North America Tuesday, October 24, 2017 @ 7:30 pm Banff Seniors Centre Presented by: Dr. Cliff White- Canadian Rockies Bison Initiative The Bow Valley Naturalists will kick off this year’s speaker series with senior research biologist and bison historian, Dr. Cliff White. Cliff will share is passion for the historical ecology of bison in Western North America.

For several thousand years one of the west’s greatest biological phenomena was an annual cycle of millions of bison (often called buffalo) congregating each spring and summer on the Great Plains for calving and breeding. Then, as the summer advanced into fall and winter, the herds would fragment and disperse towards peripheral woodlands and foothills. This yearly “heartbeat” of bison movements structured the long-term natural and human ecology of the vast landscape from the Red River, Manitoba to the Rockies.

Dr. Cliff White, a former Parks Canada scientist based in Banff National Park will describe how researchers from many disciplines are learning the pattern of these historic bison movements, the ways bison influenced both natural and human communities, and how parks can use this knowledge to restore ecological integrity to mountain and foothill landscapes. The talk will include an update on Parks Canada’s recent re-introduction of a small bison herd in to their traditional habitat of the Panther Valley in Banff National Park.

The Bow Valley Naturalist speaker series is the fourth Tuesday of every month from October -April. These are free events and welcome to all. In November Alberta Environment and Parks Ecologist John Paczowski will give a research update on human use in the wildlife corridors surrounding Canmore