A wood bison near Behchoko, in the Northwest Territories, Canada
© Don Johnston/agefotostoc
Out of the woods?
Emerging from a stand of trees in the Northwest Territories of Canada comes a wood bison, the larger of the two subspecies of American bison. There were once tens of thousands of wood bison roaming the chilly boreal forests and open meadows in north-west Canada and parts of the US state of Alaska. But by the early 1900s, these majestic animals were driven almost to extinction by hunting, disease and habitat loss.
Thanks to conservation efforts, today their numbers have rebounded enough to move the wood bison's status from endangered to threatened. And one of the best places to see them in the wild? The Northwest Territories, an area that has become an important refuge for the largest land mammal in North America.