Photo by Erni/Shutterstock.

(Yellowstone National Park) – Yellowstone National Park has completed its annual summer bison population abundance monitoring.

The population is estimated to be 4,900 bison.  The estimate is based on a series of aerial surveys.  This level is similar to the 2013 summer estimate.  The peak population estimate of 5,000 bison was recorded in the summer of 2005.

There are approximately 3,500 bison in the Northern herd and 1,400 in the Central herd this summer.  There were about 740 calves-of-the-year observed in a June aerial survey.

This population estimate is used to inform adaptive management strategies under the Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP).  The IBMP is a cooperative plan designed to conserve a viable, wild bison population while minimizing the risk of brucellosis transmission between bison and cattle.

The cooperating agencies operating under the IBMP are the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the Montana Department of Livestock, the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, the InterTribal Buffalo Council, the Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes, and the Nez Perce Tribe. More information on the IBMP can be found at http://ibmp.info.

–Provided by Yellowstone National Park