American BisonInterview Audio ExcerptSee Full Interview Transcript
Jim Derr, genetics professor at Texas A&M University, tells the story of the near loss of the last Texas remnants of the great southern buffalo herd. Saved from extinction in the 1880s by Mary and Charles Goodnight, the small herd had survived for over 120 years at the JA Ranch. However, by 1997, when the herd was collected off the JA Ranch and installed at Caprock Canyon State Park, Derr's team realized that it was severely inbred, with few calves born and surviving each season. Here, Derr explains how the herd's diversity, vitality and future were restored.
LocationCollege Station, Texas