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Evolution of bison topic of talk

Many generations ago, humans bred the domestic dog from the wolf.

Now, that same process is being repeated with the American bison, said Dale Lott, a University of California at Davis professor who will give a talk Thursday on San Juan Ridge.

“They’re in the process of being domesticated,” said Lott, author of “American Bison: A Natural History.”



Currently, about 300,000 bison roam the Great Plains, about 1 percent of the roughly 30 million that once coexisted with Indians.

But only about 10,000 bison live in the wild. The rest are being bred by ranchers – including media mogul Ted Turner – for docility and a “more tranquil disposition,” Lott said.




“You start selecting for an animal that’s easier to handle,” he said.

Lott doesn’t have a problem with domesticated bison – as long as wild animals remain and have room to live.

Lott’s talk is sponsored by the Yuba Watershed Institute. Cost is $5. For information, call 470-0348.


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